On 3 May 2023, the High Court of Delhi dismissed a plea of several students which sought a writ of mandamus declaring an exception to the criterion limiting attempts at the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) to two in two consecutive years. The petitioners had been theoretically eligible to take part in the exam since 2021, but due to the pandemic in 2020 and the subsequent lockdown, their study was adversely affected.
In 2021, the vast majority of the candidates did not indeed attend the exam. Most of the candidates attended the exam in 2022, and therefore argued before the court that the opportunities to take part in the JEE had been reduced to one (in 2022) and asked for a one-time measure granting them the possibility to participate also in the 2023 exam.
The court pointed out in the first place that the students could have participated in the 2021 JEE and that they decided not to do so. They offered no reason why a differentiation should be made. In the second place, the eligibility conditions for the JEE are determined according to policy decisions taken by the competent bodies and the court cannot determine the advantages and disadvantages of policy decisions.
The court therefore dismissed the petition.