The Supreme Court on Wednesday junked a plea seeking cancellation of physical exams for Class 10 and 12 scheduled to be conducted by all state boards, CBSE, ICSE, and NIOS.
The top court pulled up petitioners for filing premature petitions and creating confusion among lakhs of students through such PILs. It warned the petitioner of exemplary costs if such action is repeated.
A bench headed by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar told the petitioner’s counsel, “Creating confusion by such petitions, what kind of petition you filed?”
Advocate Prashant Padmanabhan, representing the petitioners, urged the top court to see the present CBSE directions and also pointed at the petition filed in connection with the exams last year. The bench, also comprising Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and C.T. Ravikumar, said what has happened in past cannot become a norm, and that will be misleading. Padmanabhan added that CBSE has conducted the first term exam in offline mode in December 2021 in MCQ mode and results aren’t published yet.
Justice Khanwilkar said the situation has not arrived yet and told the council to allow authorities to take a decision in the matter. “How can you pre-empt everything”, said the bench.
The top court added, “These kinds of petitions are misleading, what kind of publicity do these petitions get. These petitions create confusion. Let students and authorities do their jobs.”
The plea said many students studying in CBSE, ICSE, NIOS, and state board approached the petitioner, Anubha Shrivastava Sahai, for issues they are facing regarding the board exams and are directly affected by the outcome of this PIL.
“The other petitioners are students as well as the parents from different states, who were aggrieved by the Board’s decision. That, the mental pressure that is created for performance in this exam is so much that every year a number of students commit suicide for fear of underperformance, or of failure”, said the plea.
The plea added, “To make students appear and face the examination with the additional fear of getting infected by the Covid-19 virus will not only be unfair but the same will be absolutely inhuman”.
The plea urged the top court to issue directions to concerned authorities to pass a notification regarding alternate mode of assessment of students from Class 10, 11, and 12 of CBSE, ICSE, NIOS, and state boards instead of offline exams.
The second petitioner in the plea is the Student Union of Odisha. The plea has also included a list of students from various parts of the country who approached Sahai regarding issues with the board exams.