In 2020, the exam schedule was disrupted by COVID-19 and followed lockdown. Even after JEE mains and JEE advanced 2020, students who missed their exams had moved courts.
Normally, as per rules related to the JEE, a student, who clears the Class 12 examinations, is allowed three and two attempts at JEE-Mains and JEE-Advanced, respectively, including the year in which the student had passed the Class 12.
But after the JEE advanced conducted in 2020, there was a demand from students to increase the number of JEE Advanced attempts. The demands were made citing a reason that students could not prepare well for the exam since coaching centres were shut down and study material was not available easily in the lockdown period.
Now, in the latest development, the Supreme Court has adjourned the petition seeking an extra chance for students who exhausted their last chance in JEE Advanced 2020 and had faced difficulties due to COVID-19 pandemic, reported Live Law.
The Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Advanced for admissions to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) will be conducted on July 3, 2021.
The apex court has asked petitioners to wait for the judgement reserved in the similar petition seeking extra attempt for the UPSC aspirants.
A bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar had reserved its verdict on a plea seeking one more chance in UPSC's civil services exam to those aspirants who could not appear in their last attempt in 2020 due to the pandemic on February 9.
The bench noted the submissions of Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, appearing for the Centre, that pandemic hit all candidates equally and if an extra chance is granted only to those who exhausted their last sixth attempt then others, who lost their first or second chance, may say that injustice has been done to them.
"Either, we dismiss the petition or we accommodate all," the bench observed. The ASG said in an examination of this nature, the issue of grant relaxation in age or attempt fell under the domain of the executive and it has been held in judgements that the judiciary would not interfere unless the policy is "atrocious and against the fundamental rights".
On February 5, the Centre had filed a note in the apex court which said, "Relaxation, only to the extent of providing one extra attempt for Civil Service Examination (CSE), specifically limited to CSE-2021, may be granted to only those candidates who appeared for CSE-2020 as their last permissible attempt and are otherwise not age-barred from appearing in CSE-2021."
"This relaxation for the candidates and to the extent as prescribed above shall be a one-time relaxation only and shall apply only for appearing in CSE-2021 and shall not be treated as a precedent," it had said.
"As per the suggestion of this court, the Union of India is agreeable for the following ex-gratia, one-time, restricted relaxation to be granted to the prospective candidates, subject to the same being part of a consent order, disposing of the petition," the note had said.
On February 1, the Centre had said it cannot grant an extra chance to the aspirants who could not appear or prepare well for their last attempt in the civil service exam in 2020 due to the pandemic while reiterating that it would amount to extending "differential treatment" to similarly placed candidates.
(with inputs from PTI)