The Karnataka High Court refused to interfere with the decision of the State Government in holding exams and dismissed a petition that had sought for cancellation of SSLC exams. According to the Court, the exams had to be conducted in the interest of students.
The petitioner, S.V. Singre Gowda, Managing Trustee of the Gana Mandira Education Trust, filed public interest litigation (PIL), challenging the notification issued by the Government for conducting the Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) examinations. The PIL had sought to quash the notification and cancel the examinations.
Contentions in the Petition
The petitioner contended that it was necessary to cancel the Class 10 board exams as students had difficulties in understanding the subjects as the classes were held online. The petitioner also highlighted the problems that were by students in rural areas who were unable to attend online classes.
The petitioner contended that the Second PUC exams were cancelled due to Covid-19 and that Class 12 students were evaluated on the basis of marks obtained by them in the previous two classes. According to the petitioner adopting the same method for the students of Class 10 was necessary. The petitioner also pointed out that children between the age group 1-18 had still not be vaccinated, hence if exams were to be conducted then students would be exposed to Covid-19 infection.
The Advocate General appearing for the State submitted that the examinations would be conducted on the 19th and 20th of July, 2021 and that necessary precautions had been taken. It was also submitted that each classroom will only have 12 students that that social distancing would be practised.
Karnataka High Court’s Observations
The Court observed that “In case of 2nd PUC student, there was data available to assess the marks. However, as far as the SSLC students are concerned, there is no such data. Therefore we find there is no arbitrariness in state holding exams on July 19.”
Additionally, it was stated that the exams had to be conducted in the interest of students.
Justices B.V. Nagarathna and Hanchate Sanjeeckumar accepted the submissions made by the State and dismissed the petition seeking cancellation of SSLC exams and stated that there was no merit in the petition as the petitioner was unable to point out why holding of examinations were arbitrary. The Court stated that it would not interfere with the matter and that the Government had taken appropriate measures to prevent Covid-19.