The installation of CCTV cameras would certainly act as a deterrent for a student to indulge in the mal-practices for fear of being detected eventually, the Court observed.
High Court of Kerala has asked the Education department of the state to install CCTV cameras in the examination halls of the colleges to function during examination hours before June, next year. According to Justice V. Chitambaresh, the installation of CCTV cameras would act as a deterrent for a student to indulge in the mal-practices aforesaid for fear of being detected eventually.
Kerala Self-Financing Engineering College Managements Association and All Kerala Private Arts and Science Unaided College Management Association had approached the High Court challenging the order by University to install CCTV camera in Exam halls in Private colleges. They contended that particular brands of CCTV cameras are being insisted and that self-financing institutions alone have been targeted.
CCTV deters malpractice
The Court observed that the necessity toinstall CCTV cameras in the examination halls has arisen in view of the reporting of rampant copying during the examinations. The court said that the students may perhaps misuse the liberty given by the invigilators and indulge in impersonation or copying from bits and score high marks. The students who take pains to study and write the examinations without indulging in such malpractices would end up getting lesser marks much to their disgust and frustration. The court also added“alleged copying during examinations by a high ranking officer sparked controversy recently”
The court, however clarified that such CCTV cameras shall not function during class internals or viva voce even though the same may be insisted for the external examinations. The privacy of the students and the staff are infringed by continuous use of CCTV, the court said. “The external examinations conducted by the university should be free from all mal-practices and one of the remedies is the installation of CCTV cameras. Such surveillance is necessary only in the examination halls”, Justice Chitambaresh said.
University duty-bound to check malpractice
The court observed that the Universities are duty bound to conduct the examination free from all mal-practices including copying. Rejecting the contention of the petitioners that contention of the petitioners that the university lacks power to issue instructions to install CCTV cameras, the court said such power can be traced to Section 5 (xvii) of the Mahatma Gandhi University Act, 1985. The court further pointed out that the conduct of the examinations in a fair manner will certainly add to the impetus to study for a student thereby enhancing the quality of the course itself.
CCTV not just in private colleges
The court said that petitioners are justified in their complaint that the private institutions are only asked to install CCTV, because such malpractices have been reported even in the aided colleges affiliated to the university. Court said that the Government colleges are not free from the menace of malpractice during examinations.
Instead of quashing the directions to install CCTV in private educational institutions, the Court said it will rather direct all the colleges in the State (whether it be self-financing, aided, unaided or Government) to install CCTV cameras. Justice Chitambaresh said “The only remedial way is either to do away with installation or do the installation in all colleges and I opt for the latter taking note of the social commitment.”
Read the Judgment here.