PIL filed by Law Students seeking Cancellation of Final Year Examinations; Bombay HC seeks Reply from State, UGC, and BCI.
July 19, 2020, Saturday
The High Court of Bombay on Friday, sought a reply from the State of Maharashtra, University Grants Commission as well as the Bar Council of India, following a Public Interest Litigation filed by a law student seeking cancellation of final year examinations amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. A Division Bench of the Court has directed the State, UGC, and BCI to file their Affidavit-of-reply by July 24, 2020, and has scheduled the next hearing on July 31, 2020.
Samarvir Singh, a fourth-year law student and the Petitioner in the present PIL, contended that if the examinations are conducted, the students who have secured admissions in post-graduate courses in universities in India, as well as abroad, would be losing a year for not being able to submit their degree on time.
In the meantime, in a different matter before the same bench, a writ petition was filed by five final year law students seeking cancellation of final year examinations and urgent declaration of results. Furthermore, an Intervention Application has also been filed, wherein the Maharashtra Government’s GR was supported, through which, the State Disaster Management Authority had decided to cancel final year examinations for those who are not willing to appear for it during the ongoing pandemic. Earlier, the abovementioned GR was challenged by one Dhananjay Kulkarni in a PIL. Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni, clarified before the bench headed by CJ Dipankar Datta, that the stand of the State that no exams, irrespective of whether they are professional courses or non-professional courses, will be held in Maharashtra amidst the current situation.
The Petitioner Students, who claim to have the support of over 500 final year students challenged the UGC revised guidelines as well as the notification of BCI which directed to conduct examinations during the ongoing pandemic. They also contended that they are looking forward to apply for universities, and require their results to be declared at the earliest, for the same purpose. The Petitioners also expressed concern over the present situation, and the difficulty it may pose on students who have to travel a long distance to give the exams.
The next date of hearing of this case is also on the 31st of July, 2020.