‘Will create chaos and uncertainty’, SC junks plea to postpone GATE-2022

The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to postpone the GATE-2022 exam saying that postponement will create “chaos and uncertainty” in the lives of students who have registered for it.

A bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and comprising Justices Surya Kant and Vikram Nath said the court is not willing to entertain a petition 48 hours before the exam, as it will create chaos and uncertainty in the lives of the students who have already registered for the GATE-2022 exam. The bench was informed that over 9 lakh students are taking the GATE-2022 exam.

The bench added that there is no overarching reason for it to exercise its jurisdiction under Article 32 of the Constitution, to supplant the duties and functions of the regulatory authorities who have taken a decision in connection with the schedule of the exam. The bench pointed out that now everything is opening up and it is not correct for courts to step into academic matters.

The bench said: “We are not inclined to entertain a petition under Article 32…These petitions are accordingly dismissed.”

Advocate Satpal Singh, representing a petitioner, contended that many state governments have imposed a lockdown on weekends, and in this backdrop holding the exam is unfair and urged the court to defer the exam for a month.

The bench told the petitioners counsel that some petitioners have moved before it and many others have already prepared for the exam. It pointed out that the exams were notified in August last year and 9 lakh are appearing for it, and 20,000 have signed an online petition. “Only authorities can look into this”, said the bench.

Justice Chandrachud queried the petitioners’ counsel, “Look at the legitimacy of courts entering into these thickets. Just because some states have issues, how do we play with the careers of all students…”

After a detailed hearing in the matter, the top court dismissed the pleas seeking postponement of the exam in the backdrop of third Covid wave.

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