The Karnataka High Court has rejected a petition seeking imposing of half day state wide curfew when SSLC exams are conducted to avoid students getting infected with coronavirus either on their way to the examination centre or on their way back.
A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Nataraj Rangasway while disposing off the petition filed by one Karan Kumar H, said "All 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." SSLC exams are to be held between June 25 to July 4.
Advocate Dilraj Rohit Sequeira appearing for the petitioner had argued that the students and parents will congregate outside the examination centres before commencement of the examination and after the examination is over and social distancing norms will not be observed. Further it was submitted that restrictions on par with curfew should be imposed between 8.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. on the days of SSLC examination. All necessary steps should be taken to ensure that the pandemic of COVID-19 does not spread to the students.
Additional Advocate General Dhyan Chinnappa argued that the decision of holding SSLC examination was questioned before this Court which was disposed of by a detailed judgment and order dated 27th May 2020. The said judgment and order shows that on the very day, the Standard Operating Procedure (for short 'SOP') was issued by the Board providing for several safeguards to ensure that the epidemic does not spread due to conduct of the examination. The said judgment has been confirmed by the Apex Court. Approximately 2879 centres across the State where SSLC examinations will be conducted and the buildings where these centres are located have been barricaded. The SOP will be followed while conducting the examination and the directions of this Court will be also implemented.
The bench said "The petitioner is seeking a very drastic relief directing imposition of curfew virtually for half of every day on which SSLC examination is conducted. Whether a curfew should be imposed or not is a very serious question. The answer to the question should be best left to the wisdom of the experts in the field. Therefore, we are unable to grant the drastic relief."
It added that "The anxiety expressed about possible congregation of students and parents outside the examination centres may have some basis. Consistent with the SOP issued on 27th May 2020, the State Government and the Board will have to take all possible steps to ensure that there is no congregation of students and parents outside the examination centres before the commencement of the examination and after the completion of the examination."
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