The outbreak of COVID-19 caused examinations across the country to halt. Recently, the MHA allowed certain states to conduct their SSLC and HSLC examinations. The Kerala Government decided to go ahead with conducting exams. The suitor filed a writ petition challenging this decision.
The National Disaster Management Authority extended the lock-down earlier this month. However, the Ministry of Home Affairs allowed certain states to conduct examinations during this period. This decision took place without the permission of the NDMA. Thus, the petitioner argued that the MHA had not applied its mind. That, 13 lakh students had registered for the examinations. Therefore, easing lock-down restrictions could be a public health concern.
The State argued that the academic interests of lakhs of students would get involved. It had granted exemption from lock-down measures for this reason. That this, exemption is subject to restrictions. In containment zones, there will be no examination centres. Teachers, staff and students must wear face masks. Additionally, all those involved in the examination process will follow social distancing measures. Furthermore, the States must arrange special buses for transport of students to exam centres.
The Court found that the petitioner’s contentions were baseless. The petitioner expressed concern about the safety measures adopted by the State Government. The Court observed that these were merely “blunt allegations”.
It emphasized the public interest litigant to back his contentions. Additionally, it stated that the petitioner only made baseless, wild and reckless claims. Moreover, it observed that the petitioner ought to have provided more solid grounds for challenge. This was considering the time given to him to do the same.
Accordingly, the Court dismissed the writ petition as it lacked merit.