The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to entertain a plea made by aspirants to postpone the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) examination 2022 due to COVID-19. The bench of Supreme court, being led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said that interference 48 hours before the examination would cause chaos and confusion for students.
“Postponement of GATE exam 2022 barely 48 hours before the scheduled date is replete with a potential for chaos and uncertainty for students who have registered for the exam. There is no overarching reason why this court should under Article 32 to supplant the role of authorities. Consistent with circumspection which this court must exercise in academic pleas, these petitions are accordingly.”Justice D.Y. Chandrachud
The students in their plea said that due to the prevailing condition of the COVID-19 virus, the lives of students were at risk.
“There was complete lockdown in various states such as Jammu and Kashmir. The virus had spread widely in States such as Kerala, which had imposed a lockdown during the weekend. The lives of students were at risk.”
The GATE 2022 exam is scheduled to be held physically on February 5,6,12 and 13. The students sought the examinations to be rescheduled by a month.
The Court sought to distinguish between the first and second wave of COVID-19 on one hand and the current COVID wave on the other.
“We cannot start postponing exams like this. Everything is opening up now, we cannot play with careers of students like this. 9 lakh students are appearing and 20,000 have signed an online petition. Only authorities can look into this. Students have toiled hard for this exam.”
The petitioners in their plea contended that holding exam in the midst of surge in Covid would violate right to life and personal liberty of the candidates and it also pointed that the court had earlier postponed about 20 exams conducted by different government bodies due to COVID. The students through advocate Pallav Mongia argued that the examination could turn out to be a super spreader as the rules were unreasonable.