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"If the Court is satisfied that the decision taken by the Government is not arbitrary, irrational or is not actuated by bias or malice, this Court should not poke its nose to a policy decision", the Court said.
The Madras High Court has dismissed pleas challenging the method adopted by the Tamil Nadu government to evaluate the academic performance of Class X SSLC students amid the COVID-19 pandemic, in lieu of final exams (Minor T Mohamed Humayun and ors. v State of Tamil Nadu and ors).
The Single Judge Bench of Justice Anand Venkatesh ruled,
Earlier this year, the Tamil Nadu government had announced by a Government Order that final exams for Class X students would be cancelled in view of the pandemic. All students in the state would be passed this year without the conduct of exams, it was intimated.
Additionally, the state government also informed that Class X students would be evaluated by considering the marks secured in quarterly and half-yearly examinations and attendance (given 80% and 20% weightage respectively).
This evaluation method was challenged by a group of Class X students before the Madras High Court. It was argued that the government ought not to have confined the assessment only to the quarterly and half-yearly examinations.
However, Justice Venkatesh has now dismissed the challenge, opining that there is no scope for judicially reviewing the State's decisions since it was apparent that the decision was not arbitrary to warrant the Court's interference.
The Court explained,
Therefore, the petitions challenging the Government Order were dismissed by the Court.
Senior Counsel TP Manoharan, assisted by Advocate TM Naveen, appeared for the petitioners.
Special Government Pleader C Munusamy, Government Advocate V Annalakshmi, and Special Government Pleader Syed Mustafa appeared for the respondent-authorities.