Mumbai News

If state says no exams, can CISCE board students be forced?: Bombay high court – Times of India

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MUMBAI: Bombay high court on Wednesday questioned how the CISCE board schools could pressurise students of classes X and XII to opt for exams in their pending papers when the state government has decided not to allow them to be held.
“If the State government says it will not allow the exams to he held, where is the question of submission of option?” asked a bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and justice S S Shinde while hearing pleas against the exams.
The judges were informed by advocates Shailesh Pathak and Rahul Tanwani that schools are forcing students to submit the exams option and also if they do not, the schools will be considered defaulters. The judges pointed out that the board has earlier told the court that if the State decides not to allow the exams, they will accept the decision. “Where is the question of the board or schools pressurising students?” the CJ asked. He also referred to the June 22 order which protects the interests of students.
The board’s advocate Aditya Mehta said there is no pressure on students. He said principals have been told “do not put pressure on them.”
Earlier after the advocate general Ashutosh Kumbhakoni informed that the State Disaster Management Committee has decided not to permit exams due to the Covid-19 situation in Maharashtra, the judges asked about CBSE exams. The AG said since the petitions were regarding CISCE board exams, CBSE exams issue was not placed before the committee.
The AG also said the state in principle is opposed to any kind of exams being held and has decided not to allow exams of non-professional courses. He said with regard to professional courses “we have not given an anxious thought” and it will depend on whether professional bodies like Medical Council of India and Bar Council of India will allow candidates to enter the profession as their rules say exams have to be given.”We’ll cross the bridge when we reach there,” he added.
Senior advocate Birendra Saraf, for parents in favour of exams, said the state’s decision cannot only be for ICSE/ISC exams and if they later decide to allow CBSE exams, “great prejudice” would be caused to the students. The judges also orally indicated that they will explore the option – whether examinees can be allowed to physically appear for exams in some other state where the situation is better.
Additional solicitor general Anil Singh said Central government’s decision will be communicated to the Supreme Court, which is hearing pleas against holding exams of CBSE and CISCE boards, on Thursday. He added the HC must wait for the Centre’s decision.
To a query from the bench, if the methodology for grading students who do not opt for exams will be ready by Thursday, Mehta replied that the board will work it out depending on SC’s decision. “What the final position is on a pan India basis would be most critical to finding out the methodology,” he added.
Noting that the decision of SC will have a “vital bearing on this proceeding”, the judges deferred the next hearing to June 29.