Karnataka High Court Rejects the Plea Seeking Enforcement of State-Wide Curfew During SSLC Exams to Avoid the Spread of COVID-19 Among Students

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A writ petition filed, prayed for the writ of  Mandamus under article 226 of the Indian Constitution. To enforce state-wide curfew type restrictions on the days of SSLC Examination in Karnataka.

Facts of the Case

The petition concerns SSLC exams dated  25th June 2020 to 4th July 2020.  The petitioner prayed for the issue of Mandamus or any other appropriate writ. To impose state-wide curfew during the SSLC examination. To avoid spreading COVID – 19 among the students appearing for the exams.

Arguments before the Court

The petitioner submitted that there would be a congregation outside the examination center. The parents and students will assemble before and after the examination. Therefore, a failure of social distancing norms will ensue. Thus, the submission asked for a state-wide curfew to restrict the spread of COVID – 19.

The respondent submitted the decision for holding the SSLC exams and was questioned before the Court, which faced disposal by a detailed judgment and order dated 27th May 2020. On the very day, the board issued the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). In that several safeguards were listed to ensure that the epidemic does not spread. The counsel submitted that the Apex Court has confirmed the said Judgement. He also submitted that approx. barricades are set up around 2879 centers across the state and buildings of the centres. They will follow the SOP and put in place the Court’s order.

Court’s Decision

The Court said “The petitioner is seeking a very drastic relief directing imposition of curfew virtually for half of every day on which SSLC examination is conducted. Whether a curfew should be imposed or not is a very serious question. The answer to the question should be best left to the wisdom of the experts in the field. Thus, we are unable to grant drastic relief.”

Furthermore, the Court observed that the petitioner’s concerns have some basis. But, the examination’s conduct will be  consistent with the SOP. The state government and the board have to ensure there is no congregation.

The Court disposed of the writ petition. It rejected the plea of the petitioner seeking statewide curfew in light of SSLC exams.


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