However, the minister – who is among ministers from six states who have moved the apex court for a review of its earlier order – said Maharashtra had never asked for cancelling the examinations, but only sought to defer them till a more opportune time.
In their review petition, the ministers from various non-BJP ruled states – Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Punjab – plan to raise several issues that may impede the smooth and safe conduct of the JEE, NEET exams, scheduled for September 30.
“We never wanted to cancel the exams, we wanted it to be postponed for a suitable time in view of the Covid-19 crisis,” Samant told mediapersons.
In view of the latest development, he said the state government will consult universities and students on the issue and then decide how to go about implementing the SC order.
“We respect the SC verdict. We shall take into account the health and safety concerns of the students before deciding how to conduct the exams,” said Samant.
On Thursday, the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi partners – Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and Congress – had urged the Centre to consider postponing the exams in view of the pandemic lockdown that would make it difficult for candidates to reach exam venues, besides exposing them to the risk of coronavirus.
Earlier, state Tourism Minister Aditya Thackeray had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention in the matter in view of the health concerns of students and their families.