CHENNAI: Giving a reprieve to 38 rural students, the Madras High Court has directed CBSE to accept the fee along with their applications to sit for NEET exam for selection to under-graduate medical courses and to issue the hall-tickets to them, as a special case.
Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana gave the direction while disposing of a batch of writ petitions from M Mugunthan and 37 others, who could not submit their applications and remit the fees before the time limit due to some glitches in the online system.
“The initiative taken by the CBSE in conducting the examination throughout the country online is a laudable one. However, better connectivity has to be addressed or provisions ought to have been made for an alternate method for the situation like the present case,” the judge observed.
Petitioners had gone to the same internet centre to make their application online. Though they were successful till the stage of applying and getting it registered, they were unsuccessful in completing the procedure by paying the required fees. They are from different pockets of Tamil Nadu.
The low internet speed and perennial power outages, are to be blamed. Therefore, no mala fides can be imputed to these candidates who could not remit the fees online in the absence of any alternate mode”, the judge said.
According to petitioners, students in rural areas had to wait till the last date expecting the policy announcement from the State government for exemption from appearance in the test as was done last year.
Since, no such announcement came, most of them were forced to apply online almost on the last date with a result that due to connectivity issues, they were unable to make the payment of the fees. Their dependence on third parties, power outages and connectivity problems resulted in non-payment of the fees, they said.
The judge directed CBSE to accept the fees from the petitioners registered online through RTGS on or before May 2.