NEET 2020 Latest News: In another significant development, the Supreme Court on Monday declined to pass direction to the Central government to hold the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) Undergraduate (UG) 2020 examination in Gulf countries. Also Read - Sudarshan TV Row: 'Free Speech, Not Hatred,' Supreme Court Says Media Self-regulation System Toothless

While hearing a plea, the top court bench of Justice L Nageswara Rao asked the Centre to allow students to come via Vande Bharat Mission flights to appear for the exams in India. Also Read - 2021 Haridwar Kumbh: In a First, Number of Pilgrims to Be Restricted; Entry Passes to Be Issued

Saying that the quarantine norms are mandatory for students who would come from the Middle East countries to appear for the exam, the top court allowed petitioners to approach state governments to seek relaxation. Also Read - Regulate Digital Media First: Centre Tells SC in Affidavit Filed in Response to Pleas Against Sudarshan TV

The top court bench said the exam will be offline and the students who fly will have to maintain the 14 days quarantine in view of public health.

While hearing the plea, the top court asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to speak to ministries concerned to ensure aspirants, for the NEET scheduled on September 13, residing in the Middle East are permitted to come to India in Vande Bharat Mission flights.

The top court said this while hearing the plea filed by parents of nearly 4,000 NEET (UG) candidates, who sought to alternatively postpone the examination until the COVID-19 pandemic normalises.

The parents of these candidates, who reside in Qatar, Oman, and UAE, have approached the apex court challenging the Kerala High Court’s June 30 order which had dismissed their plea.

In their appeal against the Kerala High Court order, the general secretary of Kerala Muslim Culture Centre in Qatar, Abdul Azeez said that the National Testing Agency (NTA) had the capability and willingness to open exam centres in Gulf countries as they had been doing so for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) (Main).

(With inputs from agencies)