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The Supreme Court today dismissed a plea by a Karnataka-based educationist challenging the May 27 order of the Karnataka High Court whereby no interference was made in the proposed Class 10 State board exams to be held from June 25 in spite of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Court declined to interfere in the matter on the reasoning that,
1. The Karnataka High Court was right in holding that Constitutional Courts cannot interfere in academic matters
2. An alternative option of appearing at a later date has been provided. Therefore, if students cannot appear on June 25, then an exam can be taken 2 months later.
reads the order
The special leave petition before the top court was filed by educationist Rajshree through Advocate Anindita Pujari and settled by Senior Advocate Jayna Kothari.
The appellant stated that close to 8.48 lakh students would be appearing for the Class 10 exams and that with the COVID-19 pandemic spreading, this exam "would pose the biggest risk to the lives and health" of these students.
The plea added that the reasoning of the High Court that constitutional courts do not interfere in academic matters is faulty as the issue here affects the Right to life and health of children.
stated the plea.
Rajshree also contended that the Karnataka government's Standard Operating Procedure for conducting the exam was faulty as it states two students will be made to sit on a bench. Further, it stated that if any student is found to have COVID-19 symptoms then instead of being sent home, the student would be made to sit in a different room, thus "allowing the infection to spread."
Instead of allowing the exam's conduct, the petitioner had suggested that the internal marks of students be used to promote them. Holding such an exam during COVID-19 would tantamount to violating Article 21 of the students, the petitioner had said.