Karnataka High Court: A Division Bench of Aravind Kumar and M.I. Arun, JJ., addressed the matter wherein the notification issued by the Karnataka Examination Authority was questioned and stay on the same was sought.
What does the KEA Notification says?
KEA had issued the Time Table for conducting Common Entrance Test-2020 on 30-07-2020, 31-07-2020 and 01-08-2020.
High Court’s decision, dated 28-07-2020:
“During the last two weeks, everyday, more than 5,000 COVID-19 positive cases are being detected in the State and more than 2,000 cases are being detected in the city of Bengaluru. It is reported that more than 5,000 areas in the city of Bengaluru have been declared as containment zones apart from the containment zones in the other cities.
SOP of the State Government dated 17th April 2020 clearly lays down that no one is allowed to leave the containment zones. Moreover, the public transport will not be available. It is also contended that some students from other States will also be appearing for CET. It is true that the petitioners have approached the Court belatedly. However, there is a drastic change in the situation everyday. We, therefore, direct the State Government to immediately reconsider the decision of holding CET considering the aforesaid aspects.
The State Government shall place its decision on record tomorrow (29th July 2020).”
Petitioners proposed that the CET-2020 examination would result in pushing the candidates to the risk of COVID-19 and they being infected and students as well as their parents who are in the containment zones would not be permitted to come out of their homes as it would be contrary to the Standard Operating Procedure issued.
Bench on perusal of the facts and circumstances of the matter, cleared that it is not expressing or opining the cancellation or postponement of the CET-2020 examination.
In accordance to the SOP extended for conducting the CET-2020 examination, separate rooms have been provided for COVID-19 positive candidates and it is also stated that the candidates should inform COVID-19 status to the examination authorities well in advance.
Candidates have also been asked to produce a certificate certifying them that they are fit to write the examinations.
Court observes that it cannot lose sight of the fact that more than 1,84, 368 students have already downloaded the hall tickets for attending the examination scheduled to commence from 30-07-2020 which clearly indicates their interest and preparedness of the students who did not approach the Court.
Bench, however, made it clear that on no ground whatsoever, a candidate shall be prevented from attending the examination scheduled to be held from 30-07-2020 and all logistic support shall be extended by the State to ensure such of the candidates who require medical attention, transportation, food and other facilities.
Transportation to Candidates
State shall also ensure that all necessary instructions and information is issued to the authorities for ensuring that no candidate and/or parents and guardians accompanying them are prevented from proceeding from their place of residence/stay to examination centre on account of same being contaminated zone or otherwise.
On case to case basis State shall also provide transportation to candidates who may be in need of such transportation.
If a candidate fails to furnish that he/she is fit to write the examination, then the same can be a ground to prohibit them from taking up the examination.
Executive Director, Sri Venkata Raja submitted that the SOP would be uploaded to the web portal of Karnataka Examination Authority. [Abdulla Mannan Khan v. State of Karnataka, WP No. 8916 of 2020, decided on 29-07-2020]