'Premature, ill-advised': SC refuses to cancel offline board exams
The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition seeking cancelation of offline examination for Classes 10 and 12 conducted by Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) term 2, and other board exams. The court also called the petition "ill-advised" and "premature" as authorities are yet to take a decision regarding the conduct of exams.
- The order came on the petitions filed by child rights activist Anubha Shrivastava Sahai and some students.
- The petitioners had sought an alternative assessment mechanism as formulated in the past year for admission to undergraduate (UG) courses.
- Notably, almost all state and central education boards, including the CBSE, had to cancel Classe 10 and 12 final exams due to the second wave of COVID-19.
An SC bench, comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari, and CT Ravikumar, said the PIL was ill-conceived and cannot be maintained at this stage as authorities have not yet taken any decision in regard to exams. "If these decisions are not in accordance with rules and the Act, it will be open to aggrieved persons to set a challenge in that regard," it added.
The top court added such petitions only create "false hope" and "confusion" all over. "Let authorities take a decision. You can challenge that order," it added. "These kinds of petitions will mislead...for the last three days we have been seeing news items everywhere. What kind of petitions are filed & publicity is being given? This has to stop...this will create confusion," Justice Khanwilkar said.
SC also said it would impose heavy costs on the petitioner, however, it didn't do so in the end. "This has to stop...Don't come up again or there will be exemplary costs. Let students & authorities do their job...You can't PIL like this," SC said.
Appearing for petitioner Sahai, lawyer Prashant Padmanabhan started by referring to the orders passed by the Supreme Court last year regarding alternate assessment for board exams. Padmanabhan said that a similar petition by the same petitioner had been heard last year. To this, SC responded, "Just because we heard it last year, it cannot become the norm."
CBSE has scheduled term 2 exams for Classes 10 and 12 from April 26, while CISCE has said that it will conduct the ICSE Class 10 and ISC Class 12 exams in the last week of April. However, the detailed schedule hasn't been released yet.