Relief for 24k students, Karnataka HC orders KEA to redo 2020-21 batch CET rankings

The court revoked a KEA note that stated the marks of students who passed the PU-II exam in 2020-21 would not be taken into account to determine rankings for admission through CET.

Issuing an order that is likely to benefit 24,000 Karnataka Common Entrance Test (KCET) repeaters, the Karnataka High Court has ordered Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA) to redo the rank list after taking into account 50% of all students’ pre-university exam marks and 50% of their KCET scores. On Saturday, September 3, the court revoked a note from the KEA that stated the marks of students who passed the 2020-21 batch’s PU-II exam would not be taken into account to determine rankings for admission to professional courses through the CET exam. The single-judge bench comprised of Justice SR Krishna Kumar.

The standard 50% CET and 50% PU second year marks were taken into account for students in the 2021-22 class. However, according to the KEA note dated July 30, for the previous 2020-2021 batch, only the CET scores were taken into account. The KEA justified the move by saying that the 2020-21 students were promoted based on internal marks since exams were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the court, viewing PU-II marks as ‘nil’ would have “absurd consequences that cannot be counted in the facts and circumstances of the instant case,” which is why it was decided to reject the note. The court also called the KEA note ‘unlawful’. The court ruled that the provision provided for the KCET ranking in 2020-21 cannot be carried over to 2021-22. Additionally, the court ruled that the July 30 note conflicts with the KEA’s own bulletin, which did not have clear instructions for KCET repeaters.

In a previous hearing, the court had proposed a compromise approach that would compute the CET ranks using 75% of the CET marks and 25% of the second-year PU marks. However, the KEA had refused this. On Saturday, the court dismissed the KEA’s note and upheld the petitions submitted by numerous students in 10 different petitions.

The KEA office in Bengaluru’s Malleshwaram saw protests by the affected students on July 30, after the announcement of the CET results this year. However, they were elated with the court’s decision on Saturday. “We’re very happy that the court gave this order. If it had been left to the KEA then grave injustice would have happened for 24,000 students,” said a parent of a CET repeater, Shubha.

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