Plea To Cancel CBSE, ICSE Class 12 Exams : Supreme Court Adjourns Hearing To May 31

The Supreme Court on Friday adjourned to May 31 a plea seeking cancellation of Class XII exams of CBSE and ICSE and to devise an objective methodology to declare the result of class XII within a specific timeframe.

A vacation bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari was considering a Public Interest Litigation filed by Advocate Mamta Sharma.

The bench adjourned the matter after noting that the petitioner has not served advanced copy on the standing counsel for the CBSE. The bench asked the petitioner to serve the advance copy on the CBSE counsel and listed the matter on May 31 at 11 AM.

Justice Dinesh Maheshwari observed during the short hearnig that the CBSE is likely to take a call on the matter on June 1.

Senior Advocate JK Das appeared for the ICSE.

Advocate Mamta Sharma also requested the bench to take suo moto cognizance of the issues related to state board exams and to issue notice to all state boards.

“Please be optimistic. There might be some resolution by Monday”, the bench told the counsel.

The direction has been sought to the Centre, Central Board of Secondary Education and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination.

The plea has also sought directions for setting aside the Notification dated 14th,16th and 19th April 2021 issued by CBSE and Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination only in respect of clauses dealing with postponement of Class XII examination

CBSE through its letter dated 14th April had cancelled the examination for class X and postponed the examination for class XII. CISCE through its circulars dated 16th and 19th April had cancelled the examination for class X and deferred the examination for class XII for an unspecified period.

The petitioner Advocate Mamta Sharma has sought similar directions as passed by the top Court Court in the matter of Amit Bathla & Anr. V. CBSE & Ors. (2020), in similar circumstances caused to Covid – 19 pandemic India to meet out the hardships of the innocent school children of Class XII of CBSE and ICSE.

The Apex Court through that judgement, had directed the computation and declaration of the result of class XII students on the basis of their earlier grading as their main final examination had been postponed and could not be conducted due to unprecedented situation caused by pandemic.

The plea has stated that CICSE/ CBSE had already through their circulars dated 26th June and 13th July 2020 accepted and admitted the same severe situation of covid 19 and has partly accepted the judgment of Supreme Court passed last year for this present year academic session of 2020-2021 in respect of class X students by :

Issuing the directions not to conduct their fresh final examination Adopting the criteria of declaring result on the basis of their earlier internal grading

However, the plea has stated that for the innocent students of class XII, “step motherly arbitrary, inhuman direction” have been issued to postpone their final examination for an unspecified duration instead of following the directions propounded and accepted by them last year.

The petitioner, enrolled as an advocate with Delhi Bar Council has stated that she was approached by the minor students of Class XII approached, and is filing petition on their behalf, as their claim is genuine and to protect their fundamental rights of education under article 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India.

The plea has argued that in view of the unprecedented health emergency and rising numbers of the Covid -19 cases in the Country, the conduct of examination, either offline/online/ blended in upcoming weeks is not possible and delay in examination will cause irreparable loss to the students as time is the essence in taking admission in higher education courses in foreign universities.

“As per the UNESCO statistics for the year 2018 around 7.3 lakh students had opted for foreign universities to pursue higher education. Delay in declaration of result will ultimately hamper one semester of the aspiring students as admission cannot be confirmed until the result of Class XII is declared.” the plea reads.

According to the petitioner, it cannot be legitimately expected from the respondents to remain a mute spectator over the current situation and not to take a timely decision in respect of examination and declaration of result of more than 121akhs students of class XII.
by Shristi Ojha
CBSE ICSE Cancellation of Class XII Board Exams Supreme Court Justice AM Khanwilkar Justice Dinesh Maheshwari

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