Petitioners’ stand appears unfair, says Bombay HC; rejects plea by MBA aspirants against CET process

Petitioners' stand appears unfair, says Bombay HC; rejects plea by MBA aspirants against CET process

MUMBAI: Observing that their petition was “without substance’’ the Bombay high court on Tuesday rejected a petition filed by 154 students who are aspiring to join a post-graduation programme for business management but wanted the ongoing admission process quashed.
. The HC refused to quash or set aside the MBA Common Entrance Test (CET) 2023-24 results and admission process as sought by the students.
“There are only 154 students who came before us. They say the entire CET exam should be done again. No thought is spared to hundreds of thousands of others who gave the entrance exam,’’ said a bench of Justices Gautam Patel and Neela Gokhale on Tuesday while dictating the order. It added, “The petitioners do not represent all candidates, yet we are expected that all those persons suffer at the instance of present disgruntled persons without being given the slightest opportunity of being heard to the others.’’
The Judges at the hearing last Monday had also questioned why should a few students hold up an entire admission process and had by an interim order directed that admissions to Masters in Business Administration (MBA) courses 2023-24, can continue via the Maharashtra State CET Cell subject to final orders in a petition challenging the examination.
The Students’ grievance as submitted by their counsel S B Talekar was that the CET Cell conducted a selective retest for the MBA admissions and the whole process lacked transparency.
At the first hearing in the matter late last month the bench questioning how the Cell was ultimately going to normalise all the slots, had sought the presence of the Commissioner of CET Cell.
The State Advocate General Birendra Saraf seeking dismissal of the petition had said any relief now would set to nought the entire admission process and adversely prejudice the careers of a wider section of students.
Saraf explaining the CET’s role said the examinations were earlier held in four batches, each batch having a different paper. In the first batch some students were granted excess time and some others faced technical glitches and a petition by several students including some of the present petitioners was filed earlier for a re-examination. The HC had in that petition directed re-test for those students who got extra time and had faced glitches.
The AG said that the present batch of petitioners did not challenge the process then and in fact 77 of the 150-odd Petitioners sat in the re examination and only much after the results were declared, have they approached the HC seeking to quash midway, the entire process that had given a fair opportunity to all.
The HC had on July 10 concluded hearing the matter and reserved it for final orders on Tuesday.
The bench said, “It is indeed telling that all these complaints of structural failures or discrepancies are brought to life only after results are declared. We are wholly unable to see any substance in the petition. We reject it on facts and substance. As petitioners are students, we refrain from making an order of imposing costs,” the bench held.
The challenge : A petition filed by over 150 students sought quashing of the MBA CET process in Maharashtra.
Petition sought direction to CET commissioner to hold fresh CET for admission into first year of full time MBA, MMS courses for 2023-24 to various institutions arguing that the postgraduate management admission process in the state is ‘vitiated due to lack of transparency and fairness in the manner of conducting’.
What HC held:
“The entire stand of petitioners appears to be singularly unfair. We are asked to hold that the results of the vast majority will be thrown into jeopardy at the instance of less than one per cent of students,” bench of Justices Gautam Patel and Neela Gokhale said.