Published: 31st May 2021
SC adjourns CBSE hearing, asks Govt to provide final decision on June 3 about scrapping Class 12 board exams
While hearing the plea, the apex court mentioned its decision in scrapping the board exams last year and asked the AG to provide good reasons if the same is not being followed
Hearing the plea seeking cancellation of Class 12 board examinations owing to the second wave of COVID-19, the Supreme Court on Monday directed the Central Government to take an in-principle decision by June 3 and place it before the court. The apex court will hear the matter again on Thursday. Attorney General K K Venugopal sought permission for the government to take a final decision in this matter. "The government will make a decision within the next two days. Please grant us time till Thursday so that we come with a final decision," he said.
While hearing the plea, the apex court mentioned its decision of scrapping the board exams last year and asked the AG to provide good reasons if the same is not being followed. "We don't want to enter the nitty gritty. There is sanguine hope by petitioners that the policy adopted last year should be followed this year. So if you are departing you must give good reasons," Justices AM Khanwilkar, who was a part of the SC bench said. "This notification which was released last year under similar dispensation, if it's not being followed then give us good reasons. If you are following petitioners may not have to add more," the Supreme Court added.
READ ALSO: Nearly 300 Class XII students write to CJI asking him to call CBSE's decision to conduct offline exams 'impractical'
The SC was hearing a plea seeking cancellation of Class XII Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) exams amid the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India. The plea by Mamta Sharma, a Delhi-based lawyer, prayed that notifications issued by ICSE and CBSE postponing Class XII exams to an unspecified date be struck down. The petitioner instead urged that the exam be scrapped altogether for this academic year and marks be computed using the methodology employed last year. The matter was being heard by a Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari.
On May 28, during the last hearing in the matter, the Supreme Court sought the assistance of the Attorney General to decide on the plea to scrap Class 12 board examinations and told the petitioner Mamta Sharma to be optimistic as the Centre, which is expected to decide on this issue by Tuesday, June 1, could pass a resolution in her favour.
Last week, around 300 students across the country wrote to the Chief Justice of India asking the Supreme Court to take suo moto cognisance in the matter of conducting offline Class XII board exams in the middle of a raging pandemic. The petition asked the apex court to quash the decision taken by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to conduct physical examinations and instead direct the evaluation of "Class XII students on the basis of alternative modes/online exams, so as to do complete, equal and fair justice to the students and to exclude the possibility of discrimination, disadvantage and risk of life".