In an important order, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has ordered the Maharashtra government and also the National Testing Agency (NTA) to consider postponing the JEE-Main examination at least for students from over six districts in the state. The HC noted that these six districts are currently reeling under floods.
Since the exams are to start from Tuesday morning, the HC has decided to hear the matter at least half an hour before the exams commence i.e. at 8:30 am.
A bench of Justices Ravi Deshpande and Pushpa Ganediwala took up a suo moto PIL after considering a letter addressed to it highlighting the plight of students of these flood-hit districts.
The bench noted that students from Nagpur, Akola, Amravati, Chandrapur, Gondia and Gadchiroli were finding it difficult to reach to their exam centers due to the massive floods. The bench further took into account the fact that the exams are slated to commence from Tuesday, September 1 by 9:00 am.
During the course of the hearing, the judges were informed that under the Disaster Management Act, it is the Collector in the area, which is not led by a Municipal Corporation, can take a decision in respect of holding or postponing of the exams at a particular centre and if the area is covered by the civic body, then the authority under the Disaster Management Act is the Municipal Commissioner.
The judges, accordingly, issued notices to the municipal commissioners and collectors of all these districts, summoning them to appear before it on Tuesday morning.
"We direct all the authorities to consider the question of postponing the JEE-Main examination for the students residing in
the flood-affected areas and unable to reach the centres to appear for the examination," the judges said in their order, adjourning the matter for further hearing till Tuesday.