Bombay High Court

Bombay High Court: In a Public Interest Litigation (‘PIL’) seeking relaxation in Joint Entrance Examination (‘JEE Main’) 2023 eligibility criteria of class 12 qualifying marks being 65% for SC/ST and 75% for others, the Division Bench of S.V. Gangapurwala, ACJ and Sandeep V. Marne, J. refused to interfere with the policy decision of the government regarding methodology of conduct of JEE Main 2023 and the admission process.

The instant petition sought rescheduling of JEE Main from January to April 2023, and relaxation in JEE Main eligibility marks in 12th Board exams for admissions to National Institutes of Technology (NITs), Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) and Centrally Funded Technical Institutes (CFTIs).

Regarding rescheduling JEE Main 2023 examination, the Court had passed order on 10-1-2023 refusing to direct postponement of JEE Main January examination to April and left the challenge regarding 75% criteria for JEE Mains 2023 for later, as being dealt with in the instant matter.

As per JEE Main 2023 Information Bulletin released by National Testing Agency, the eligibility criteria for JEE Main exam 2023 requires candidates to secure minimum 75% marks in class 12 Board examination, while the qualifying marks for SC/ST are 65%. The same has been challenged in the instant petition. Irrespective of score obtained in the JEE exam, compliance with 75% criteria is a must for others, and it is 65% for SC/ST categories. The Court noted that on account of COVID-19 pandemic, this condition was relaxed in JEE Main 2020, 2021 and 2022, but insisted upon for 2023 session.

The Court observed that the condition for 75% criteria for JEE Main was incorporated in 2018 session, repeated in 2019, and was relaxed in further sessions due to special circumstances, i.e., the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on board examinations. It further added that the Government of India did not extend the said relaxation for JEE Main 2023.

The Court said that “Merely because relaxation in criteria of minimum 75% marks (65% marks for SC/ST) in 12th class was granted in the previous 3 admission processes, the same would not entitle the students to continue to claim relaxation indefinitely.” The Court supported the ASG’s reliance on Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education v. Paritosh Bhupeshkumar Sheth, (1984) 4 SCC 27 wherein, it was clarified that “the Court cannot sit in judgment over the wisdom of policy evolved by Legislature and subordinate regulation-making body.”

The Court said that relaxation in eligibility cannot be claimed as a matter of right, and the question of extension of relaxation falls within the realm of policy decision of the government. The Court pointed towards the years 2018, 2019 and 2020 when the same eligibility condition existed, and the entire admission process was completed in pan India by following the same. The Court did not find the JEE Main eligibility condition to be arbitrary in any manner. It further explained that in the absence of any vested right, no legitimate expectation would exist, while relying on State of Bihar v. Sachindra Narayan, (2019) 3 SCC 803.

The Court dismissed the instant petition and refused to interfere in methodology of conduct of JEE Main 2023 and the admission process, especially for the fact that two sessions have already been conducted and JEE Advanced is scheduled to be conducted soon.

[Anubha Srivastava Sahai v. National Testing Agency, 2023 SCC OnLine Bom 1042, Judgment dated 3-5-2023]

Judgment by: Justice Sandeep V. Marne

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, Advocate Joseph G. Thattil, Advocate Anubha Shrivastava Sahai.

Must Watch

maintenance to second wife

bail in false pretext of marriage

right to procreate of convict

Criminology, Penology and Victimology book release

Join the discussion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.