The supreme court’s hearing against UGC’s guidelines of conducting final year examinations was last held on August 10th. Today the hearing commenced at 10 AM and was concluded at 1 PM.
The petitions signed by 31 students and backed by the Punjab and Maharashtra state governments were represented by Senior advocate Shyam Divan and Abhishek Manu Singhvi today.
Divan argued that the health of final year students was not any less significant than the health of all the students from preceding classes, whose exams have been canceled owing to the COVID-19 crisis. Divan also referred to section 72 of the National Disaster Management Act and alleged that it is capable of having an “overriding effect” on the UGCs act, let alone mere guidelines. “Today, due to pandemic, NDMA is in place, and this is a special law that will dominate over states, and any breach under this act by states can attract penal consequences,” divan said in the statement.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi further supported the petitioners by informing the apex court that all institutes across the nation cannot have similar facilities. Singhvi added that according to guidelines issued by the UGC in April, May and June universities were allowed to either conduct or not conduct exams due to the restrictions caused by the budding COVID-19 crisis. However, UGC’s decision to hold examinations when the pandemic is at its peak sounds rather unbelievable.
The bench led by Justices Ashok Bhushan, Subhash Reddy, and MR Shah adjourned the hearing to 18th August.