The Bombay High Court asked the University of Mumbai on Tuesday to file its reply to a petition challenging the decision of the university not to provide additional answersheets, or supplements, to students during exams.
A bench comprising Justices B R Gavai and B P Colabawalla directed the university to file its reply by Thursday. The bench was hearing a petition filed by a law student from the city.
Petitioner Manasi Bhushan, who is a final-year law student, had approached the High Court in November against a circular that stated students will no longer be allowed to take supplements during exams. The university has switched to an onscreen evaluation system this year. It decided to do away with providing additional sheets after errors occurred in scanning answersheets that had supplements.
Appearing for Bhushan on Tuesday, advocate Vishal Kanade said the university’s decision was arbitrary. “The students will suffer due to this and it will stifle merit. They will be worried about trying to fit their answers in 37 pages,” he said.
The university’s counsel, Rui Rodrigues, questioned the delay in filing the petition, saying that the circular had been issued on October 9. He added that in some courses, exams were already under way and that it would not be possible to make an exception for LLB at this stage. Kanade, however, told the court that the petitioner had sent representations to the university soon after the circular was issued, but was yet to get a response.
The university had been distributing complete answer booklets of 40 pages as supplements for the last few years. The students using them ended up with two bar codes, which led to confusion during the first online assessment process in the March 2017 exams.