Two petitions have been filed in the Karnataka High Court challenging the decision of the Karnataka Examinations Authority to conduct the Karnataka Common Entrance Test, during the present situation of COVID-19 pandemic.
The petitions are filed by Eric E Steaphens, who is the secretary of NSUI and by one Pradeep Kumar S P and few others, stating that the examinations are scheduled to be conducted from July 30 to August 1. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic prevailing in the State, many students are not able to travel from their houses to the respective centres to write the examination. The SOP dated 18.7.2020 issued by the respondents does not protect the right of the students who are required to travel from outside the State of Karnataka. Hence, the action is challenged as arbitrary and issued without application of mind and taking the interest of the students into consideration and hence the same is required to be set aside.
Further, the pleas state that many students are residing in various places in the State which are identified as containment zones . They will not be able to come out of their houses and travel to the examination centre. Moreover, students who have tested COVID 19 positive are not granted separate facility and the guidelines of the Government to maintain physical distance cannot be ensured since all the students are required to write the same examination and no separate arrangement is made to students who have tested positive. Students have a fear in their mind about the spreading of the virus in the absence of maintenance of physical distance.
The act of the respondents in not providing adequate facilities to the students to write the examination by taking safety measures is clearly violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India, the petitions state.
The petitioners seek to set aside the KEA notification dated May 13 to conduct the KCET exams and to direct the state government and KEA to go ahead with KCET only after the completion of JEE and NEET exams.
The matters are likely to be heard on Tuesday.