Despite technical difficulties, a Supreme Court bench led by Justice DY Chandrachud heard arguments on Wednesday from a petitioner who was using a cell phone in speaker mode.
DY Chandrachud and Hima Kohli were hearing a petition filed by a petitioner addressing the court virtually, claiming denial of an MBBS seat in the OBC category under the Wards of Insured Persons quota for academic year 2018-2019.
If they are otherwise eligible, children of employees with State Insurance can apply for 437 MBBS seats at the national level. As the voice of the lady was unclear, the bench called her number and heard her argument.
At this point, it would not be possible to entertain the plea because the year in question has already passed.
The bench noted in its order that the petitioner, who appeared in person, interacted with the Court via an audio call. Having heard her at length, we conclude that the student (who is the daughter of the petitioner) has not appeared for the NEET examination during the current academic year or the previous year.
If the student meets the eligibility requirements for the next NEET examination, she is permitted to appear for that examination and, if the grievance persists, to proceed to either the high court or the apex court for appropriate relief if she is denied admission.
Upon hearing the plea, the bench disposed of it.
The top court has been working in both a physical and virtual mode since the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, making it possible for lawyers and litigants to appear before it from almost any location.
In a major step forward towards transparency and accessibility, the top court for the first time live streamed proceedings of three constitution benches simultaneously on a webcast and video streaming service on YouTube on September 27, which was viewed by more than eight lakh people.