Education Minister’s Tweet Was Taken as a Valid Claim for an Aspiring Applicant Late Application in Neet; Punjab HC

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The Division Bench opined that the petitioner had a “legitimate expectation” of a similar opportunity being provided to those hoping to take the NEET as well.

Facts

A Bench of Justices Rajan Gupta and Karamjit Singh were considering the grievance of a student who did not apply for NEET 2020 on account of his admission to a school abroad. His classes were scheduled to begin or start in September. In the pandemic’s aftermath and the ensuing sealing of borders and international travel, he was forced to give up on his plan to study abroad.

When he was weighing his options, the student saw a tweet by the Home Minister extending the deadline for online applications to take this year’s the JEE (Main) Examination.

The Division Bench surmised that the petitioner had a “legitimate expectation” of a similar opportunity being provided to those hoping to take the NEET as well.

Arguments

It was argued that the student had the right to hold certain expectations. As regardless of the date in question official authorities conveying info online is to be considered valid. This observation was made due to the increasing number of prompts and updates that are being given by the government on such platforms.

Therefore, the past info provided in such manner to be taken into consideration and the applicant in question to be provided with sufficient relief, so as to apply for a National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).

Courts Observations

Under normal circumstances, we would not have taken the tweet into consideration but it is being noticed that tweets by the official authorities are now started occupying the importance of official declarations. We are not aware whether such declarations are backed by any official file in which the entire issue is dealt with.

The Court noted that the concession based on a tweet would not have been made under normal circumstances. It also admitted that it was unaware of whether the Minister’s declarations on Twitter were backed by official documents to the effect.

Yet, pending the disposal of the writ petition, the respondent authorities were directed to accept the student’s application and accompanying documents.

Judgement 

The Punjab & Haryana High Court granted a National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) aspirant interim relief.


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