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[NEET-UG Exam] Start Bus Services From Early Morning And Increase Frequency Of Buses For Aspirants: Calcutta HC Directs State Authorities [Read Order]

Sparsh Upadhyay
10 Sep 2020 5:12 AM GMT
[NEET-UG Exam] Start Bus Services From Early Morning And Increase Frequency Of Buses For Aspirants: Calcutta HC Directs State Authorities [Read Order]
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The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday (09th September) asked the State authorities to make a sincere endeavour to start bus services for NEET-UG Aspirants from early morning on the day of the Examination and to increase the frequency of buses to enable the students at large to reach their respective examination centres in time.[NOTE: The examination in question is scheduled to be held on...

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The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday (09th September) asked the State authorities to make a sincere endeavour to start bus services for NEET-UG Aspirants from early morning on the day of the Examination and to increase the frequency of buses to enable the students at large to reach their respective examination centres in time.

[NOTE: The examination in question is scheduled to be held on 13th September, 2020.]

The Single Bench of Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty was hearing the plea of a NEET UG aspirant Souvik Panda seeking the directions of the Court "commanding the respondent authorities concerned to forthwith make separate arrangements for allowing the petitioner who is tested COVID-19 positive to participate in NEET-UG Examination on 13.09.2020 including all transport and medical facilities."

The Counsel for the petitioner submitted that the petitioner is a resident of the district of Purba Medinipur and he has been assigned an examination centre at Bhatter College at Dantan which is about 70 kilometres from his residence.

He further contended that it would be impossible for the petitioner to reach the examination centre upon travelling such long-distance unless appropriate transport facility is provided by the State authorities.

It was also submitted that the petitioner was found to be COVID-19 positive on 18th August 2020 and that the authorities may prevent him from appearing in the said examination at the said centre.

Court's Order

The Court acknowledged the fact that the prayer for postponement of the NEET-UG Examination has been refused by the Hon'ble Supreme Court by an order dated 17th August 2020 and a review application filed thereafter by the State has also been dismissed on 4th September 2020. The examination in question is scheduled to be held on 13th September 2020.

The Court was of the view that the importance of conducting the examination cannot be emphasized enough. However, the Court stressed that almost equally important is the possession of means for reaching the examination centres.

In this context the Court Ordered,

"In view of the present unprecedented situation which has been caused due to the COVID – 19 virus and as suburban and other scheduled trains are not in operation, it is expected that State authorities shall, upon empathetic consideration of the anxiety of the students, make a sincere endeavour to start bus services from early morning and to increase the frequency of buses to enable the students at large to reach their respective examination centres in time."

The AAG submitted before the court that in the event a copy of the writ petition along with the admit cards and other documents as annexed are forwarded by email to the Law Officer of the Transport Department then appropriate instruction would also be given by the competent authority to the respective Regional Transport Authorities.

To this, the Court directed the Advocate on record of the Petitioner to immediately communicate all the documents to the Law Officer of the concerned Transport Department as well as to the Principal Secretary of the Transport Department along with a server copy of this order.

Further, taking into account the fact that the petitioner was found COVID-19 positive on 18th August, the Court after perusing the exam-related advisory observed, "an elaborate procedure has been detailed to assist the candidates in every manner so that they can appear in the said examination peacefully."

The Court further observed that in the event the normal body temperature of the candidates is above 37.4O C and such candidates are displaying any symptom of Covid-19, they will be placed in a separate isolated room.

The order of the Court states,

"The said advisory had been issued by the respondent no.5 and the same is binding upon the respondent no.7 and all the examination centres and the same is required to be strictly followed. In view thereof, this Court directs that the centre-in charge of Bhatter College at Dantan to strictly comply with the advisory issued by the respondent no.5 so that the petitioner can appear in the said examination peacefully." (emphasis supplied)

The Advocate was also directed to communicate all the said documents and a copy of this order to the centre-in-charge of Bhatter College at Dantan, Paschim Medinipur (the examination centre of the Petitioner).

It may be noted that at least 3 such orders were issued/passed by the Calcutta High Court (The bench of Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty) Court on Wednesday (09th September).

Case Details:

Case Title: Souvik Panda v. the State of West Bengal & Ors.

Case No.: W. P.A. No.7039 (W) of 2020

Quorum: Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty

Appearance: Advocates Kallol Basu, Sabyasachi Chatterjee, Suman Banerjee, Pintu Karan and Akashdeep Mukherjee (for the Petitioner); AAG Abhratosh Mazumder (for the State); Ld. ASG Y.J. Dastoor and Advocate Siddhartha Lahiri (for the respondent nos.5 and 7).

Click Here To Download Order

[Read Order]



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