The Karnataka State Law University (KSLU) on Thursday apprised the Karnataka High Court that it has postponed end semester exams for three-year course LL.B. students amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Justice R Devdas was informed about the same while hearing a batch of pleas challenging the decision to hold end semester examinations for law students of the three-year LL.B. course at KSLU this year.
Earlier, this week, the Court had quashed a Bar Council of India (BCI) circular mandating the conduct of offline exams for intermediate semester students of KSLU.
Once the said judgment was pronounced, another advocate had urged the Court to pass a similar order for three-year LL.B. students as well.
However, Justice Devdas had refused to accede to the request stating,
"You should have informed me, then I would have considered it. Also, there is no petitioner from 3 year course...this is not a PIL."
When the petitions challenging the decision to hold three-year LL.B. exams came up for hearing today, Justice Devdas asked when the exams are scheduled to be held.
Counsel appearing for KSLU replied that the exams were scheduled to start on Monday. However, it has now been postponed, he added.
He further submitted that a circular to this effect would be produced if the matter is posted on Friday. Accordingly, the Bench proceeded to post the matter on Friday.
The petition filed in this regard states that on April 27 this year, the UGC had issued guidelines on examinations for universities wherein it was suggested that grading of students could be done on the basis of internal evaluation and performance in the previous semester, with 50 per cent weightage for each.
Subsequently, the BCI on June 9 issued a press release recommending that law universities conduct examinations for intermediate semester students after reopening of colleges/universities.
The petitioners contend that conducting an examination after the universities reopen, when the students are already in the next semester, is beyond the scope of the UGC guidelines.
Further, on November 1, the BCI issued a press release effectively permitting all law universities to conduct physical examinations for the intermediate semester students, the plea points out.
The petitioners have also vehemently opposed the conduct of the intermediate exams for three-year LL.B. students, arguing that the guidelines issued by BCI is not in consonance with the guidelines issued by the UGC.
Reliance was placed on recent judgments passed by the High Courts of Karnataka and Kerala, which directed universities to hold online exams keeping in mind the COVID-19 situation.
Advocates Venkatesh Murthy GR, KV Girish, VJ Joseph and Hareesh Bhandary are appearing for the petitioners.