Bombay High Court Adjourns Plea To Relax 75% Eligibility Criteria, Says Prima Facie It Would Affect Students Pan India


Relaxing the minimum 75% 12th standard board score for admission to IITs, NITs, IIITs, and CFT through JEE Mains and JEE Advance exams will affect other students who have made the cut, the Bombay High Court said while hearing a PIL on Tuesday.

We understand the difficulty but our limitations also have to be considered regarding an exam which is pan India. Granting you relaxation will affect other students who have scored above 75%. Students (in 2022) have appeared in exams and scored these marks. This is not on the basis of previous years,” the bench of Acting Chief Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice Sandeep Marne orally remarked.

In response to the court’s query regarding the purpose of the eligibility criteria, last week National Testing Agency filed an affidavit stating that the eligibility criteria of minimum 75 percent in boards for admission to NITs, IIITs, CFTIs/GFTIs is a sound, well considered policy decision.

NTA did not comment on the same criteria for admission to IITs, as it is not the authority responsible for conducting JEE Advance and deciding eligibility criteria for IITs.

The affidavit also stated that conducting a third session for JEE Mains 2023 in May is unsustainable.

The High Court in January rejected the prayer for postponement of JEE Mains 2023 examination.

The PIL filed by Anubha Sahai contended that many candidates are from batches that were not assessed on the basis of performance in the previous years as the board exams were cancelled due to COVID pandemic.

According to the petition, there are students with less than 75% marks but could perform well in JEE Mains and if fair chance is denied to them, it will affect the future of lakhs for bright students.

The petition stated that the NTA notification came at the end of the academic year. The eligibility criteria should not be changed suddenly as the students have been preparing with the expectation that it will be the same as that of last year, according to the petition.


During the hearing on Tuesday, Sahai informed the court that students who have qualified for JEE Advance also cannot get admission due to the 75% criteria, therefore she was seeking a relaxation for those who have passed in March-April 2021 and March 2022.

Advocate Joseph Thattil for intervenor submitted that he did not appear for last year’s improvement exam as the eligibility criteria was not notified. “I am eligible for JEE Advance. Even if I succeed in JEE Advance, I still won’t be able to make it to IIT because I scored almost 72%.”

ASG Anil Singh for NTA said he was concerned with admission to NITs, IIITs etc. He submitted that the eligibility criteria was in place since 2017, and wasn’t challenged.

He said that a separate letter was issued in that the relaxation was one time event, due to COVID. “All these students were aware of the fact that these are the conditions. There cannot be a legitimate expectation of hope. There has to be some right.”

However, Thattil said that all the chaos was due to covid, his client shouldn’t be punished.

But the bench was of the prima facie view that relaxation of the criteria would affect students who have already scored over 75% in their 12th board exams. The matter is kept for orders tomorrow.

Case Title – Anubha Shrivastava Sahai v. National Testing Agency

Compiled by Sharmeen Hakim

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