During the hearing of PIL filed by an Advocate seeking directions for cancellation of the remaining ICSE board exams scheduled to be held all over the State, CISCE (Council For Indian School Certificate Examinations) or the ICSE Board informed the Bombay High Court on Wednesday that a methodology for completing the pending exams will be developed depending upon the Supreme Court's decision on the same issue tomorrow.
The Central Board of Secondary Examination (CBSE) had informed the Supreme Court on Tuesday that the decision on the conduct of this year's Board examination will be taken by tomorrow evening. The Supreme Court also granted the (ICSE) the liberty to follow the decision taken by CBSE or the Centre accordingly, with slight modifications.
After Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni informed the bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice SS Shinde about the State Disaster Management Committee's decision to not permit CISCE to conduct the remaining board exams that were scheduled to begin from July 2, he argued that the issue regarding completion of examinations through gradation and past performance can only be answered once CISCE comes up with the methodology as sought by the Court.
Whereas, CISCE's counsel Aditya Mehta submitted that the entire decision of the State Disaster Management Committee is not before the Court; only a communication has been placed. CISCE would like to peruse through the decision, Mehta said, seeking a copy of the decision to be placed before the Court.
Moreover, the State has not taken any decision to prohibit examinations in this State to be conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education and, if indeed, the CBSE is permitted to proceed with the Classes X and XII examinations re-scheduled in July 2020, there could be no valid reason not to permit the second respondent (CISCE) to go ahead with its own examinations, Mehta submitted.
AG Kumbhkoni said that since the Disaster Management Committee of the State has not been required to take a call in respect of examinations to be conducted by the CBSE in this State as per the revised schedule by any order of Court, no decision as yet has been taken; but as and when the situation so demands, appropriate call would be taken.
Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh appeared on behalf of the Union of India and he was requested to obtain instructions from the Central Government as to whether any decision had been taken pursuant to the order dated June 15, 2020 of the Allahabad High Court.
Singh placed the order dated June 23, 2020 passed by the Supreme Court on a batch of petitions before the bench. He submitted that a final decision in the matter is in the process and hopefully would materialize by this day. The Supreme Court deferred hearing of all the matters to June 25, 2020 at 2 pm.
Senior Advocate Dr. Birendra Saraf, Advocate Karl Tamboly and Advocate Rahul Tanwani appeared before for the respective intervenors.
Dr.Saraf sought a copy of the decision of the State Disaster Management Committee so that the party represented by him could be appropriately advised.
Moreover, Mehta contended that depending on the decision of the Supreme Court, CISCE may have to further work out the methodology for completing the results of examinations and, therefore, they are also awaiting the decision of the Supreme Court.
The bench observed-
"In such a situation, the order(s) passed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court upon consideration of the said decision(s) would have a vital bearing on these proceedings. The Court is thus of the opinion that it ought to await the decision(s)/order(s) relevant to the issue."
Court also noted that the communication of the Additional Chief Secretary addressed to the Advocate General does not contain the decision of the State Disaster Management Committee in its entirety. Thus, the State was directed to place before the Court the entire decision by the next date.
The next date of hearing is June 29 at 10:45 am.
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