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[Breaking] "Students Do Not Suffer For No Fault On Their Part":Bombay HC Directs NTA To Consider Plea Of Students Unable To Attend JEE Due To Flood/Transport/Communication Issues [Read Order]

Nitish Kashyap
1 Sep 2020 7:38 AM GMT
[Breaking] Students Do Not Suffer For No Fault On Their Part:Bombay HC Directs NTA To Consider Plea Of Students Unable To Attend JEE Due To Flood/Transport/Communication Issues [Read Order]
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"if any of the students is unable to attend the examination on the centre due to flood situation, a representation can be made through the local agency to the Apex Body of the JEE-Main Examination, which shall be considered appropriately after making the enquiries from the Centre Co-ordinator and the District Collector. However, we direct that if any such representation is received, it be immediately forwarded by the concerned Agency/Centre Co-ordinator to the Apex Body of the JEE-Main Examination and the decision on it should be taken within a period of fifteen days."

Ahead of the JEE Main Exam which began today, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday morning refused to grant a stay on the said examination for students living in flood affected areas of Vidarbha region. However, the Court noted that if any student from the flood affected areas is unable to attend the exam, he/she may forward a representation to the Apex body of JEE Main Examination which the...

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Ahead of the JEE Main Exam which began today, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday morning refused to grant a stay on the said examination for students living in flood affected areas of Vidarbha region. However, the Court noted that if any student from the flood affected areas is unable to attend the exam, he/she may forward a representation to the Apex body of JEE Main Examination which the Court said must be decided within 15 days.

Division bench of Justice RK Deshpande and Justice PV Ganediwala of the Nagpur bench yesterday took suo motu cognizance of a letter written by Nitesh Bawankar, a resident of Bhandara, which is heavily affected by floods. In the letter, Bawankar highlighted the problems being faced by students residing in flood-hit areas of Nagpur, Bhandara, Amravati, Akola, Chandrapur, Gondia and Gadchiroli districts.

Court noted that the flood situation in Bhandara, Gondia, Chandrapur and Gadchiroli is grim and also saw that it may not be possible for the students to reach their centres to appear for the JEE Main examination, the preparation for which goes on for a year. Thus, the Court called upon Collectors of the above districts and the Municipal Authorities as well as the National Testing Agency to consider the question of postponing the JEE-Main Examination for the students residing in the flood affected areas because they were unable to reach the centres.

Court noted-

"We were, therefore, anxious to know the flood situation prevailing in all such districts is such that the aspirant-students lose their chance to appear in the examination for no fault on their part."

The District Collector, Nagpur, informed the bench that the Nagpur district has 1,284 students, who are to attend the JEE-Main Examination in 6 centres; however, there is no flood-like situation in the Nagpur district and the examination can be conducted and the students can appear for the examination. Whereas, the District Collector, Akola, categorically brought to the notice of the Court that there is no flood-like situation as on today and, therefore, there is no hurdle in conducting the JEE-Main Examination.

On the other hand, the District Collector, Chandrapur, pointed out that in Bramhapuri tehsil, a total 21 villages are affected by flood water; out of which, 8 villages has been surrounded by flood water, and the National Disaster Response, State Disaster Response Force, and the other flood rescue-related authorities are carrying out rescue operations in flood-affected villages, and if there is a need, people are also being evacuated to the safe places.

It was further stated that the rescue teams and the other local authorities, including the revenue administration, have enquired at the local level to ascertain if there are any students who are appearing for the JEE-Main Examination; however, no communication has been received in that regard by the authorities. Moreover, Court was informed that there are 4 examination centres at the District Headquarter Chandrapur and these areas are not flood-affected, so also these centres are accessible by road from all tehsils and neighbouring districts as well.

The District Collector, Amravati, brought to the notice of the Court that there is no flood-like situation prevailing in Amravati district and that the JEE-Main Examination shall be conducted by the City Co-ordinator, School of Scholars, Amravati as per the circular of the National Testing Agency.

Finally, the District Collector, Bhandara, informed the bench that a total of 47 villages were cut off from the main street due to the flood situation, which is grim. Similarly, the District Collector, Gondia, told the Court that there was a flood situation in two tehsils, viz. Gondia and Tirora, on 28th and 29th August, 2020 and this situation was further worsened by release of water from Sanjay Sarowar Dam in Madhya Pradesh.

However, the Collectors of Bhandara as well as Gondia, informed that there are no centres for this JEE-Main Examination, located either at Bhandara or at Gondia and the candidates appearing for the examination shall have accessibility by road to Nagpur and shall not face any problem for appearing for the examination.

Additional Solicitor General Ulhas Aurangabadkar appeared for the National Testing Agency, and after taking instructions, submitted that the Apex Body of the JEE-Main Examination shall consider the representation, if any, received through the Co-ordinator or the Agency conducting Examination in the District, by the student who would not be in a position to attend the JEE-Main Examination due to flood situation or due to problem of transport and communication.

If such representation is received, after making appropriate enquiries from the District Collector and the Centre Co-ordinator of the Examination, the same can be appropriately considered so that the students do not suffer for no fault on their part, Aurangabadkar assured the Court.

Finally the bench observed-

"We appreciate such gesture on the part of the National Testing Agency. In view of the aforesaid stand taken by the Collectors of the respective districts and the National Testing Agency, we do not find any reason to proceed further in the matter.

However, if any of the students is unable to attend the examination on the centre due to flood situation, a representation can be made through the local agency to the Apex Body of the JEE-Main Examination, which shall be considered appropriately after making the enquiries from the Centre Co-ordinator and the District Collector. However, we direct that if any such representation is received, it be immediately forwarded by the concerned Agency/Centre Co-ordinator to the Apex Body of the JEE-Main Examination and the decision on it should be taken within a period of fifteen days."

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