UGC and supreme court
UGC and supreme court
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"The supreme irony is that the guidelines talk about the rising COVID-19 cases", and 10 other arguments made during the UGC case before SC

As students from across the country anxiously followed the proceedings, Senior Advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Shyam Divan made some compelling arguments on their behalf.

Aditya AK

The Supreme Court today adjourned the hearing in the challenge to the University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines requiring universities to conclude their final year examinations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

As students from across the country anxiously followed the proceedings, Senior Advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Shyam Divan made some compelling arguments on their behalf.

Here are 11 of the arguments made before the Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for petitioners

Senior Advocate AM Singhvi
Senior Advocate AM Singhvi

"What is manifestly arbitrary...When something is irrational, capricious & disproportional. The UGC guidelines violate Article 14 under the aspect of manifest arbitrariness."

"UGC does not address whether provisions of the Disaster Management Act will override everything else."

"The supreme irony is that the guidelines talk about the rising cases."

Abhishek Manu Singhvi

"Travel is my right, property is my right, I have many rights under Article 21, but then why did my Lordships allow for curtailment of these rights? It's because of a special situation like the pandemic."

"There is great disparity between the classes of students who are expected to appear. Many students have gone back to their hometowns."

"Nobody is against the exams in regular times. We are against the exams in pandemic time."

Senior Advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for Yuva Sena

Shyam Divan
Shyam Divan

[Referring to circulars under Disaster Management Act] - "These guidelines lay down a minimum standard of strictness to be adhered to by States and UTs. They may not dilute it."

"UGC guidelines state that they are advisory in nature. Universities are free to chart out their own plan accordingly."

"Power of the authorities is not disputed, but once the DM Act is invoked in a disaster condition and the right to life has been elevated, then the authorities cannot come in and exert power to dilute the provisions."

Shyam Divan

"By UGC imposing this date of 30th September, it is extremely unusual because there is no mention about health concerns or improvement of the (pandemic) situation."

"The students are a homogenous group and this group cannot be severed artificially by treating first-year students differently from final year students."

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