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The Court clarified that the state government and the Examination Board would have to ensure that there is no congregation of students and parents outside the centres before and after the examination.
Earlier this week, the Karnataka High Court declined to entertain a plea seeking to impose a six hour state-wide curfew on days when SSLC exams are to be conducted amid the COVID-19 pandemic (Karan Kumar H v. State of Karnataka).
Opining that a decision on this aspect has to be taken by experts, the order passed by a Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Nataraj Rangaswamy reads,
Karnataka High Court
However, while rejecting the plea, the Court clarified that the state government and the Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board would have to take all possible steps to ensure that there is no congregation of students and parents outside the examination centres before and after the examination. This has to be in line with the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued on May 27, the Court said. The order reads,
"All the authorities will have to take extra precaution in ensuring that there is no such congregation and there is no violation of social distancing norms outside the examination centres especially, after the examination is over in the afternoon."
Appearing for the petitioner, Advocate Dilraj Rohit Sequeira had argued that as students and parents would congregate outside the examination centres before and after the examination, social distancing norms will not be observed.
In this regard, it was prayed that restrictions be imposed between 8:30 am to 2:30 pm on the days of SSLC examination, i.e., from June 25 to July 4.
Vehemnetly opposing these submissions, Additional Advocate General Dhyan Chinnappa argued that the government's decision of holding SSLC examination was earlier disposed of by a detailed judgment dated May 27 by the Karnataka High Court itself.
He further submitted that on the very day, an SOP was issued by the Board to provide a plethora of safeguards to ensure that the epidemic does not spread due to the conduct of the examination.
This High Court judgment was even affirmed by the Apex Court, Chinnappa stated.
The Court noted that in its order passed in that matter, it had issued additional directions to ensure the smooth conduct of the examinations and the safety of the students.
After hearing the submissions of both parties, the Bench went on to occur with the state government and proceeded to dispose of the petition.