Supreme Court: Agreeing to hear the pleas challenging the University Grants Commission (UGC) circular and seeking cancellation of final year examination in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, the bench of L Nageswara Rao and Hemant Gupta, JJ has listed the matter on July 27, 2020 before a Bench presided over by
Justice Ashok Bhushan.

The matter was listed before a bench presided over by Justice Bhushan after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that a bench led by Justice Bhushan had already dismissed a similar plea on July 18.

As many as 31 students from different universities across India approached the Supreme Court to quash the UGC circular dated July 6 which has asked the universities/institutions across India to conduct terminal semester(s)/final year examinations by the end of September, 2020 in offline/online/blended mode.

The students, in their petition, urged that the exams should be canceled and the results of such students should be calculated on the basis of their internal
assessment or past performance. The petition filed by students from 13 states and one union territory requested that the students’ marksheets should be issued before July 31.

According to ANI, one of the students, among the 31 petitioners, has tested positive for COVID-19 and prayed for directions to the UGC to adopt the CBSE model and conduct an examination at a later date for the students who are not satisfied with the marks awarded on the basis of the assessment.

“… the planned examinations be canceled in the interest of justice for the students as the number of COVID-19 cases is on the rise.”

Another petition on the issue, filed in the apex court by final year law student Yash Dubey, also sought cancellation of UGC mandated final year exams. Shiv  Sena leader Aditya Thackeray has also moved the apex court on behalf of Yuva Sena, the youth wing of Shiv Sena, against the mandated final year exams in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases.

[Praneeth K v. University Grants COmmission, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 592 , order dated 23.07.2020]

Read the details of UGC’s revised guidelines on conduct of final year exams here

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