Rajasthan board Class 10 exam: The top court said that the petitioner has not referred to even a single instance in the deficiency of facilities or flouting of any protocol specified by the central or state government in any examination centre, whilst conducting such examination during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Supreme Court on Sunday in an urgent hearing dismissed a plea seeking cancellation of the remaining two Class 10 examinations scheduled to be held on June 29-30, to be conducted by the board of secondary education of Rajasthan.
The top court said that the petitioner has not referred to even a single instance in the deficiency of facilities or flouting of any protocol specified by the central or state government in any examination centre, whilst conducting such examination during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna, in an urgent hearing conducted on Sunday evening through video-conferencing, dismissed the plea filed by one Maghi Devi.
“We find no infirmity in the view expressed by the High Court. The petitioner has not referred to even a single instance in this Special Leave Petition to highlight the deficiency of facilities or for that matter flouting of any protocol specified by the central government or state government in any examination centre, whilst conducting such examination during the COVID-19 pandemic situation,” the bench said.
The top court said that the High Court, while dismissing the contempt petition, had taken note of the fact that the examinations had commenced from June 18.
It said that as per the schedule published in the official website of the Board of Secondary Education, Rajasthan, Ajmer, the examination proceeded even on June 19 and 20, and June 22 to June 27 on every day.
“Despite this, not even a solitary instance has been brought to our notice where complaint about inappropriate facilities or the possibility of exposure of the students due to breach of standard operating procedure, as the case may be,” the bench said, while dismissing the appeal for cancellation of remaining examination.
During the hearing, senior advocate Manish Singhvi appearing for the state government referred to the June 17 order of the apex court in which it has refused to interfere with the High Court order allowing Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) examination in Karnataka due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The apex court was hearing an appeal filed by Devi, mother of an examinee of the Class 10 board, against the May 29 order of the Rajasthan High Court which had dismissed a plea seeking cancellation of the remaining examinations conducted by the state’s board of secondary education.
The appeal said that the board of secondary education of Rajasthan had passed a direction for conducting the remaining two papers of Class 10 on June 29 and June 30 and 11,86,418 students are likely to appear.
It said the board had conducted the last exam on March 18 and thereafter the examinations were deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the nationwide lockdown.
The appeal further contended that around 120 schools, which have been earmarked as examination centres, had been used to quarantine migrant workers during transit to their native places.
The appeal also referred to the June 26 order of the top court with regard to remaining examinations of Class 10 and Class 12 of CBSE board as well as of ICSE board.
The appeal had sought an interim stay on the remaining examinations to be conducted on Monday and Tuesday.
The petitioner before the High Court had also sought cancellation of remaining examinations to be conducted by CBSE due to COVID-19.
On June 26, the top court had approved the schemes of CBSE and ICSE for cancellations of remaining board examinations scheduled from July 1 to 15 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and approved their formula for assessment of examinees.
The top court had permitted the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to issue the notification forthwith, with regard to cancellation of the remaining board examinations of Class 10 and 12 and assessment of marks, while the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) said it would upload the notification within a week on its website.
The apex court’s order had come on a batch of pleas seeking relief, including scrapping of remaining exams of Class 12 scheduled from July 1-15, in view of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases. Similar relief was sought for the ICSE Board as well.
The CBSE class 12 exams had started on February 15 and were to conclude on April 3.
The class 10 exams had started on February 21 and were to end on March 29. The ICSE Board had postponed its class 10 and 12 examinations due to a coronavirus outbreak and they were to end on March 31.
However, the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic came into force from March 25.