The Supreme Court reserved the judgment on multiple petitions seeking to strike down the UGC guidelines to conduct examination for final year students, in the matter of Praneeth K and Ors v. UGC.
Brief of the case
The Application was filed by Vaishnavi Ambadipudi, a final year law student that challenged the UGC notice to hold the examination for final year students. The University of Cambridge offered her admission to the LLM program. This course is scheduled to begin on the 1st of October 2020, regarding which she has to submit her BA LLB degree to the University.
Arguments on behalf of the Applicant
It was argued that it would not be workable to conduct examinations due to the pandemic condition prevailing in the country. Further, it was said that the lives of thousands of students, teachers, and staff would be at risk.
The applicant contended that in India around 27 lakh cases and 51,000 deaths COVID-19 have been reported and examinations being conducted at this stage would be a threat to the hundreds of student lives. Therefore it is violative of Article 21 of the Constitution.
The applicant also submitted that since the prevailing situation due to COVID-19 differs from state to state, so conducting examinations would result in treating unequal as equals and therefore violates Article 14 of the Constitution.
Furthermore, it was stated that according to section 12 of the UGC Act the commission has to consult the Universities before taking any such step. The UGC hasn’t consulted the Universities. And thus the guidelines are required to be struck down.
It was also contended that according to Entry – 66 of List I of the seventh schedule UGC doesn’t have any power to conduct the examination.
Prayer of the Applicant
It was prayed that the impugned guidelines to conduct of examinations before September 30, 2020, be struck down. And that final year students be conferred degrees/ provisional degrees based on their previous semester performances.
Conclusion and Relief
It was laid down that the degree be conferred to the students as per the regulations of the UGC. The non-conferment of the degree would harm the final year students like the present applicant in a way that they will lose one academic year.
The Court listed the matter for next hearing.
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