The Bombay high court on Monday refused to stay the admission process of Masters of Business Management (MBA) course admissions for 2023-24 conducted by the Maharashtra State Common Entrance Test (CET) cell, however said that the admission will be subject to final outcome of a petition challenging the re-test for selective students.
A division bench of Justices Gautam Patel and Neela Gokhale was hearing a petition filed by Jay Rikame and 156 other students, who had appeared for the CET, through their advocate Satish talekar.
The bench has asked the CET cell to file its reply by July 7 and the petitioners have been directed to file their rejoinder (affidavit in reply to MH-CET reply). The HC has kept the petition for hearing on July 10.
The petitioner students sought quashing of the admission process and CET results alleging that the entrance exam was held in an arbitrary manner which affected several students.
During the hearing on Monday, Advocate General Birendra Saraf informed the HC that due to technical glitches during the entrance test of the first batch, they provided an option for a retest and several students opted for the same. He pointed out that some of the petitioners had appeared for the retest. He alleged that they waited for the results, and since it was not in their favour, they moved the court.
The CET cell conducts the test in four batches with 30,000 students in each batch. The question papers are different for each batch. And results are declared in percentile, which is different for each batch.
However, Talekar countered saying that as per the rules the number of students have to be the same in each batch. However, in the retest, which is considered as the fifth batch, there were approximately 11,000 students. Because of this selective retest there has been an unequal distribution of students in five slots. As a result, the students who are otherwise meritorious, are lagging in the merit list. Further, normalisation of marks cannot be done, said Talekar.
Saraf pointed out that some students had approached the HC in April after the entrance test seeking retest due to technical glitches. The cell had then made a statement that it will conduct a retest, which again is being challenged by some students. Following CET cell’s statement, the HC had disposed of that petition.
Talekar argued that when the CET cell said that it will conduct a retest, it was understood to be retest for all the students and not for a selective few.
"The CET Cell did not honour its statement that a fresh CET is being conducted, made before this Hon’ble Court in the earlier round of litigation, particularly when the earlier petition was disposed off in light of such statement. As a result the very objective behind approaching this Hon’ble court stood frustrated," the petition read.