New Delhi: Supreme Court on Monday adjourned hearing of plea seeking directions to the Centre, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) to cancel the CBSE, ICSE Class XII examinations after Central government sought time till Thursday.
The Central government told the Supreme Court that it will take a final decision on the issue of conducting or cancelling class 12 CBSE, ICSE Board exam in two days and sought time till Thursday to place its decision before the court. A bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar adjourned the case to June 3 while observing a similar situation last year prompted internal marking instead.
Attorney General KK Venugopal, appearing for Centre, sought time and said the Centre will come back with a decision on Class XII board exams due to the pandemic.
The Bench asked the Centre to take its time to make a decision. It, however, asked the Centre to give some good and tangible reason if it decides to depart from last year's decision when it agreed to cancel the examination due to Covid-19.
The situation this year is the same as the last year and if the government decides to go ahead with the Board examinations then it must give justification for departing from last year decision, the Bench observed.
The apex court was hearing a plea seeking directions to the Centre, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) to cancel the CBSE, ICSE Class XII examination.
CBSE through its letter dated April 14 had cancelled the examination for Class X and postponed the examination for Class XII. CISCE through its circulars dated April 16 and 19 had cancelled the examination for Class X and postponed the examination for Class XII for an unspecified period.
The plea has asked the court to set aside the CBSE and CISCE notification dated April 14,16 and 19, 2021 issued only in respect of clauses dealing with the postponement of the Class XII examination.
The petition filed by advocate Mamta Sharma asked the court to devise an objective methodology to declare the result of Class XII within a specific time frame.
It asked the court to pass the similar orders/direction which was passed by this court in similar circumstances caused due to Covid-19 pandemic last year where it directed the respondents to compute and declare the result of Class XII students on the basis of their earlier grading as their main final examination had been postponed and could not be conducted due to unprecedented situation caused by the pandemic.
The plea has stated that for the innocent students of Class XII, "step-motherly arbitrary, inhuman direction" have been issued to postpone their final examination for an unspecified duration.
"In view of the unprecedented health emergency and rising numbers of the Covid-19 cases in the country, the conduct of examination, either offline or online or blended in upcoming weeks is not possible and delay in the examination will cause irreparable loss to the students as time is the essence in taking admission in higher education courses in foreign universities," plea said.
It added that delay in declaration of result will ultimately hamper one semester of the aspiring students as admission cannot be confirmed until the result of Class XII is declared.