Plea challenging MHA notification and UGC guidelines for conduction of final term examinations

Updated: Jul 28, 2020

By Vineet Raj

Students from across the country moved to The Supreme Court of India seeking issuance of direction to the centre and UGC for quashing of the revised guidelines dated July 6 providing for the compulsory conduct of final term examination amid the pandemic situation. The present writ petition has been filed by AOR Raj Kamal on behalf of the Petitioner, Yash Dubey, who is a final year law student, Barkatullah University, Bhopal (M.P.) and Youth Bar Association of India - an association of public-spirited, young and vigilant law students and lawyers, across the country, registered under Society Registration Act, 1860. The petition has been filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India seeking issuance of a writ in the nature of mandamus, order or direction to the respondents to take immediate and effective actions to protect the life of the petitioner and thousands of similarly placed students whose basic right to life which includes right to health is being violated in view of the notification dated 06.07.2020 issued by the MHA (Ministry Of Home Affairs) and the revised guidelines dated 06.07.2020 issued by the UGC (University Grant Commission). The petitioner submitted to the court that the conduct of examination in the prevailing unprecedented situation of a health emergency will expose the students to great risk and will amount to flagrant violation of the basic principle of the right to health which is an important facet of right to life embodied within Article 21 of Constitution of India The revised UGC Guidelines issued at the time when the entire country is at a huge risk of being exposed to the virus and when there is an exponential growth in the total number of cases in the country which has already crossed the tally of 10.38 lakh and when the country has reached the stage of community spread. The prevailing guideline by the authorized body fails to take into consideration the economic, mental, physical, and social plight of the students at this stage and will severely affect the health of the students and will expose them to huge risks. Thus, the plea prays for the promotion of the students on the basis of their performance in the previous semester by taking aggregate score for all the semester to calculate the marks for the final semesters instead of conducting the exam amid the unprecedented situation and also issue a direction to the respondents to devise an alternative model for assessment of the final year students in wake of coronavirus disease outbreak.

Earlier today, The Supreme court on the petition filed by 31 students in 13 different states and one union territory, on a plea challenging the UGC guidelines dated July 6 for the conduction of final semester’s examination by September 30, 2020, stated that the matter will be taken up by a Justice Ashok Bhushan led bench in next two days. Reported: Live law.

The plea by Advocated Alakh Alok Srivastava, on behalf of the petitioner, asserted that the discussion to conduct the final examination was taken by the respondent in utterly arbitrary manner and thus the entire outset of the said decision is erroneous and misplaced.

A similar plea by Yuva Sena (Shiv Sena Youth wing) headed by Aditya Thackerayon July 18 was dismissed by a bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan. The Yuva Sena by their petition demanded all states be given the right to take an appropriate decision based on the prevailing situation in their respective areas.

In the past days number of plea by the students from various parts of India regarding the same issue to cancel the final examination has moved to the different courts in India challenging the MHA notification and UGC guidelines.

The final year students are already being deprived of various precious opportunities of getting admissions in higher courses or getting jobs and it will be absolutely unjust to neglect the problem that is being faced by thousands of students.