28 July 2021 6:52 AM GMT
The Kerala High Court on Tuesday cancelled the offline B-Tech examinations for first and third-semester students conducted by APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University citing the ongoing Covid 19 situation.Justice Amit Rawal further restrained the University from conducting the remaining examinations scheduled to be held in the coming days. The said exams had commenced on 9th July.The...
The Kerala High Court on Tuesday cancelled the offline B-Tech examinations for first and third-semester students conducted by APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University citing the ongoing Covid 19 situation.
Justice Amit Rawal further restrained the University from conducting the remaining examinations scheduled to be held in the coming days. The said exams had commenced on 9th July.
The order was passed in a petition filed by eight students seeking a direction to the University to conduct online exams amid the pandemic. They had challenged the University's decision to proceed with offline examinations despite severe representations.
Advocate Rajesh Kumar TK appeared for the petitioners and submitted that the offline examinations for the first and third semester were against the University Grants Commission (UGC) regulations. They argued that the UGC had directed specifically that offline examinations can be conducted only for final year students and that the other semester examinations should be conducted through online modes.
The petitioners submitted that their Fundamental Right of Equality before Law guaranteed under Article 14 of the Constitution of India was violated by the conduct of the University with utter disregard to the concerns of the health of the students. There are about 152 colleges affiliated with the University and approximately 29000 students studying in these colleges, they stated.
Physical examinations involve a great deal of travel and heavy reliance on public transport, which were not possible given the present state of affairs, according to the petitioners. They added that travelling by public transport also posed a great risk to the health of students. It was also submitted that this caused serious logistics issues as well since only 50 percent capacity was allowed in public transport according to the State regulations.
They further contended that there was no mechanism to avoid gatherings before and after the examination, thereby putting students' health at imminent risk. On these grounds, the petitioners vehemently objected to offline exams citing that the same has the potential to entail a huge risk of transmission of the virus.
Advocate Elvin Peter P.J representing the University submitted that students who are unable to take the offline examinations due to Covid related issues will be permitted to take the next examination scheduled to be conducted by the University on a later date for the very same semester and that such examination so attempted by them will be considered as their fresh attempt. However, this argument did not convince the Court.
While allowing the petition, the Single Bench ruled that UGC guidelines were already in place regarding the course of action to be followed by the University regarding examinations for final years and other semesters. Since online examinations were the mode prescribed by the Commission, the same ought to be followed by the University, the Court held.
Title: Sagar A.R v. APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University