The Bombay High Court on Friday asked the vice-chancellor (V-C) of Mumbai University (MU) to hear out students seeking postponement of final-year online exams of BA, BCom, BSc and other courses scheduled to start on October 1. The court refused to grant any relief or pass any orders and refused to interfere in the exam schedule. However, it directed the petitioner students to approach the V-C with their grievances, who will address the same preferably before commencement of exams.
The petitioners said the university failed to give them one month ‘mandatory time’ as per rules between announcement and commencement of exams.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni were hearing a PIL by two petitioners Sachin Manwadkar (43) and Dilip Randive (53) enrolled for three-year LLB course, seeking direction to MU to postpone the exams and grant at least a month to students for preparations.
The petitioners referred to the June 2019 circular issued by the university that asked colleges to declare examination schedules at least one month in advance.
Advocate Sharon Patole for the petitioners said universities should give sufficient time to students to prepare as their future is at stake. Not only students but also professors require time, Patole said. This year, along with mode of examination, format has also changed and even professors require time to prepare question papers, Patole added.
After hearing submissions, the bench refused to grant any relief stating that in academic matters pertaining to universities, the scope of judicial interference is narrow. “Withdraw your plea and make representation to vice-chancellor. If you insist on a decision or order on the merits of the petition, that will damage your case. You can study now. There is some time,” the bench said.
After Patole accepted to make the representation, the Court directed the vice chancellor of Mumbai University to hear the grievances raised by petitioners and decide the same ‘preferably before the commencement of examination’ and disposed of the plea.
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