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Bombay High Court quashes Maharashtra govt’s plan to hold CET for class 11

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Deepali Kalia-

Published on: August 12, 2021, at 14:30 IST

Bombay High Court set aside the Maharashtra government’s resolution issued on May 28 to hold a Common Entrance Test (CET) for class 11 admissions observing the resolution to be ‘unfair’ and ‘discriminatory’ and a threat to the lives of lakhs of students in the middle of Pandemic.

As per the notification, Maharashtra government had planned on holding CET physically on August 21 for 10th class students of all education boards.

The exam for admission into class 11 or first-year junior colleges would’ve been on the basis of Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) or SSC syllabus.

“The state government does not have the power under law to issue such a notification and this court can intervene in an extreme case of gross injustice, such as this”, a Division Bench of Justice Ramesh D Dhanuka and Justice Riyaz I Chagla stated.

The Bench was hearing a writ petition filed by Ananya Patki, a student of Mumbai’s IES Orion School who called the May 28 resolution discriminatory.

Advocate Yogesh Patki, her father argued that the government’s order violated Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution and would pose as a serious issue to lakhs of non-vaccinated students between the ages of 15 and 16 who would be appearing for CET in offline mode.

The Division Bench made the following observations in its judgment:

“In our view, if this CET examination is allowed to be held in this manner at this stage, it will cause gross injustice to all the students, including those who have passed Class 10 from the Secondary School Certificate board of the state. There is no reasonable nexus in introducing such a CET examination in such an illegal manner.”

“Since such action of the state government would affect the right to life of a large number of students, the Court cannot be a mute spectator in such circumstances. It is the duty of the Court to intervene and to protect the people of our country by setting aside such a resolution having far-reaching consequences.”

Consequently, the Bench directed the State to conclude the admission process of students for class 11 within six weeks by taking their class 10th marks and internal assessment into account.

Read Order