Updated: June 23, 2021 10:41:21 am
The Supreme Court Tuesday dismissed a plea challenging the decision of Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) to cancel the board examinations this year owing to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.
The apex court also dismissed all challenges mounted to the new assessment policies that have been devised by CBSE and CISCE for computation of marks.
“We hold that there is no need to interfere with the scheme propounded by CBSE and ICSE. It takes into account concerns of all students,” A Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari said, the Bar and Bench reported.
Regarding the plea challenging the cancellation of exams, the Bench said, “Board has taken a conscious decision at the highest level and taken on larger public interest. We are not going to sit in judgement over it.”
When the petitioner Anshul Gupta asked why board exams have to be cancelled even when competitive examinations like IIT-JEE or CLAT can be held physically, the court said the decision should be left to the discretion of each individual board.
“Each board is different and logistical needs is different. each exam is independent exam. Board has to take that decision…Individual perception will not decide this case. Decision based on larger interest has to be taken, there are logistical issues and issues with teacher and support staff,” the apex court said, Bar and Bench reported.
Dismissing the petition, the SC said, “In our opinion it is not possible to accept the submission by Mr Anshul Gupta that since other institutions are able to conduct exam it does not mean the boards can hold the exam. Boards have decided to cancel exam in larger public interest. The policy adopted by CBSE was adopted by an expert body of 13 experts.”
Senior Counsel Vikas Singh, appearing for The Uttar Pradesh Parents’ Association, Lucknow, which had moved the Supreme Court against CBSE’s assessment policy, said students should be given the option to appear physically for examinations instead of waiting to know the marks that have been computed.
To this, the SC said, “We are of the considered opinion that entertaining this plea will create uncertainty until improvisation exams are conducted. After results declared on July 31 then improvisation exam may be opted for.”
The court also accepted the argument of Attorney General (AG) KK Venugopal, representing the government, who told SC that taking into consideration the past performances of students is essential for the evaluation process.
The court also rejected a plea by private and compartment students against CBSE decision to hold offline examinations for them. “Present scheme says exam will be held where all such candidates can appear as private candidates and exams will be held from August 15 to September 15 and results will be at the earliest so that these students can pursue their career if so desired,” SC said.
“In view of the above, we hold that there is no need to interfere with the scheme propounded by CBSE and ICSE. It takes into account concerns of all students. Both writ petitions are being disposed off,” the apex court stated.