The Bombay High Court has rejected the Public Interest litigation (PIL) seeking relaxation of the 75% score in the HSC examination, which is the eligibility criterion for admission to IIT, NIT, IIIT and CIFT/GIFT through JEE Main and JEE Advance Exams.
The bench of Acting Chief Justice (ACJ) SV Gangapurwala and Justice Sandeep Marne said, “We have said (in our detailed order that) we cannot intervene at this stage, it was for them (government) to consider, and it is for the government to decide. The copy of the order will be made available today, so further steps can be taken.”
The PIL emphasised that the 75% eligibility criteria was not applicable prior to last year. The PIL emphasised that thousands of students were impacted by the sudden modification of the eligibility criteria. Anubha Sahai, the petitioner, claimed that since 2021, the condition had been relaxed and that the current academic year’s students should also receive that relaxation. Sahai also argued that the top 20 percentile, another admissions criterion, had not been announced by the state’s education boards.
The National Testing Agency (NTA) had filed a reply to the PIL and explained why the qualification criterion of securing 75% marks in the board exam was prescribed despite there being a qualifying examination. NTA claimed that its decision of keeping the 75% cut-off percentage was a conscious and well considered decision taken with the approval of the JEE Apex Board (JAB). The relaxation of the criterion for previous academic years was a one-time measure, the NTA said.
During the hearing of the PIL on Tuesday, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, appearing for the NTA, had submitted that the policy of 75% cut-off was applicable since 2017. He said that this system was relaxed for the academic years 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23, although it was only a one-time relaxation and temporary in nature.
“It is not that we are implementing or re-implementing. This condition was kept in abeyance, and it has been revived. All the students were aware of the facts and conditions in the brochures. There cannot be a legitimate expectation or hope, you have to have the right. Just because there was relaxation once, there cannot be an expectation that it would happen again,” Singh had argued.
The bench had stated following Singh’s hearing that lowering eligibility requirements would have an impact on other candidates who had made the cut. The court’s restrictions must be considered because the exam is given across all of India, it was added. Later in the day, the full order will be made available.