On 28.08.2020, an urgent hearing of Maghi Devi v. Union of India and Ors was held. The bench consisted of Justice A.M Khanwilkar, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Sanjiv Khanna. It was to decide on a plea filed by a parent against Rajasthan High Court’s decision to conduct exams on 29th and 30th of June. This was ahead of CBSE deciding to cancel exams of Class 10 and 12 students.
Brief Facts of the Case
On May 29, the Rajasthan High Court had allowed the Rajasthan Board State Examination to conduct the exams. This order was challenged in the Supreme Court.
One paper of each class was remaining and scheduled to be held on June 29th (Class 10, Social Science) and 30th (Class 12, Maths). The petitioner, a parent stated that the decision of the state board to conduct the two papers was ‘erroneous’. Thus, it deserves to be ‘set aside’ owing to the COVID- 19 situation in the state.
She stated that 12 lakh students, who appear for the exams will get exposed to Coronavirus. Also, 120 schools which were examination centres are now used to quarantine people. Adding further, “conducting of examinations is wrong illegal and discriminatory. This is because it jeopardises the health of the students undertaking the exams. Thus, amounting to a violation of Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution.”
Actions taken by the Court
A special hearing took place today at 6:30 pm. The Bench refused to interfere with Rajasthan High Court’s decision to conduct the two-state board exams for Classes 10 and 12.
The Apex Court observed that the petitioners approached the court at the last moment. The fact remains that the Rajasthan State Government has taken all necessary measures about COVID-19 norms. It stated that the High Court had passed the order to hold exams a month back.
Observing that people have filed such pleas earlier too, it stated that- “Exams are set to start from tomorrow, and petitioners have not pointed out any major inconvenience”. The Supreme Court had cancelled the remaining Board exams for both CBSE and ICSE students because of the COVID-19 crisis. The declaration of results will be on 15 July based on a special marking system. But, Class XII students, who are not satisfied with their results, may appear for their remaining exams. For Class X, no further examination will be conducted and the results based on the special assessment scheme will be treated as final.
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