Published: 01st December 2020
After failed attempts to get case on arrears heard in court, college student live telecast proceedings
The court warned the students that it will initiate contempt proceedings for the live webcast of court proceedings through Youtube
After several attempts made by college students to witness court virtual proceedings on the petitions challenging the state government decision to cancel the arrears examinations, a section of students on Tuesday went a step further by live webcasting it on YouTube for a few hours.The live webcast under the subject " Arrears" was taken down after thousands were accessing it in a few hours when the court began and the media began to take note of it. The students gaining access to the virtual court proceedings under the guise of an advocate name that is conducted in the Microsoft Teams platform was shared through the cast option on Youtube.
Only on November 20, the division bench of Sathyanarayanan and R Hemalatha began the hearing, at least 250 odd students gained access and began to shout calling for cancelling the examinations. The court unable to restrict the students suspended the proceeding by retiring to the chambers. On Tuesday the court taking note of the disruption began to restrict the platform by letting only the advocates who are listed for each of the cases. Even media outlets that cover court proceedings were not allowed.The court while passing the interim directions on the petition took serious note of the students live webcast, observing "In the light of the fact that this virtual system is being abused by certain persons we are shifting the arrears challenge petitions to physical hearing."
The court also warned the students that it will initiate contempt proceedings for the live webcast of court proceedings through Youtube. The court then ordered that the petitions challenging the state decision in cancelling arrears examinations have been shifted to physical proceedings. The Court on Tuesday passed the interim directions by restraining all the Universities in the state from declaring all pass to students who have arrears without conducting examinations either online or offline mode or a combination of both.
The court refused to accept the state arguments that the examinations were cancelled by keeping in mind of the safety of the students from the pandemic. During the hearing on Tuesday, it was also informed by the counsel for University Grants Commission that the cancellation of the examinations was actually in violation of the guidelines of the commission. Also, it was brought to the notice by one of the petitioners that a section of Universities especially Manonmaniam Sundaranar University and Madras University were releasing the results without conducting examinations.The court also observed that the Universities across the state are free to conduct their examinations through the online or offline mode or a combination of both despite the government order passed for cancelling the examinations.The bench said, "Let the state government permit Universities to conduct the arrear examinations if they want to conduct it and the choice has to be left to them."The court adjourned the plea to January 11 for the state to file their submissions.