Advocate Alakh Srivastava who is representing the 11 students who have gone to Supreme court seeking postponement of JEE and NEET in September, tweeted on Saturday about how there are four petitions filed praying that the two exams should not be postponed. Ever since, the first set of students have been worried.
The anxiety is whether this 4-1 battle will be lost even before it has begun formally. Let us examine this on the basis of hard facts.
Who are these four petitioners? The first of course, is the Gujarat Parents Association. The second set of petitioners are four students, all of them from Ahmedabad. Both sets of petitioners are represented by the same lawyer. And the parents of the four students are also part of the Gujarat Parents Association. So in that sense, the sum and substance of the two petitions is more or less the same.
There are two more petitions filed by individual students. They impleaded themselves into the case as intervenors on 13th August.
The third petitioner is a student from Maharashtra who is appearing for NEET and that she wants the exam to be conducted and therefore decided to intervene.
The fourth petitioner is a student from Patna who too is appearing for NEET.
Then of course, there is the National Testing Agency that wants the exam to be conducted. So actually it makes it 4+1 in favour of conduct of exams in September.
Subsequently Alakh Srivastava tweeted saying if any other person wanted to file a second petition, he could. Subsequently he changed his mind, arguing that multiple petitions could delay the case.
What is scheduled on Monday? All the four petitions are expected to be heard by the same Bench of the Supreme Court.
Now let us come to the operative part of how this could play out.
Frankly it is the quality of legal arguments that work and win a case in court, not how many petitions are filed on either side. The court takes into cognisance the material and evidence presented inside the court, not the surround sound in the form of tweets. Twitter trends do not decide cases, learned judges in the Supreme court do.
Also it does not matter to the court how many people are arguing for or against. The court will go by the legality of the argument, the adherence to the Constitutions of India and legal precedents. In this particular case, the court will also take into account the situation on the ground and whether it is safe to conduct the exams in September.