New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday questioned Andhra Pradesh regarding its decision to conduct physical examinations for Class 12 tentatively in the last week of July. The Supreme Court also warned the state’s government that it will be held responsible “if there is even one fatality” as a result of holding the Class 12 exams. The top court also said added that “it may order compensation amounting to Rs 1 crore” if there is any death reported. Stating that the state must have a “concrete formula” for holding the exams, the court questioned, “How can it play with the lives of students?”.Also Read - Maharashtra Crisis: What Happened So Far
“If there is even one fatality we may order compensation amounting to Rs 1 crore… when other boards had cancelled, why (does) Andhra Pradesh want to show it is different?” questioned a two-member bench of justices. “There are states giving Rs 1 crore as compensation to families of those who died. We may keep this amount for Andhra Pradesh also,” the court added. Also Read - Maharashtra Crisis: Shinde Camp Moves SC Against Disqualification Notice, Matter Likely to be Heard Today | Key Points
The Supreme Court bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari also expressed a lack of conviction with the state government’s affidavit which stated that COVID safety protocols will be followed by ensuring that only 15 students will be there in a hall, reported the legal news site Live Law. Also Read - By-Election Result 2022: List Of Winners From 3 Lok Sabha, 7 State Assembly Seats
The bench further observed that with nearly 5 lakh students expected to take the exams, there should be at least 30,000 exam halls with 15 students per hall. The bench also intensely questioned Advocate Mahfooz Nazki, counsel representing the Andhra government, if the state has come up with any “concrete plan” to ensure the availability of so many exam halls.
“How are you going to arrange for over 28,000 rooms with 15 students per hall? Have you a formula for that? You will require over 35,000 rooms if it is 15 students per hall? Do you have so many rooms?”, Justice Khanwilkar asked.
“The commitment that you are making…we are not convinced with that. 15 students in one room, you will need 35000 rooms!”, the bench said.
Stating that the State Government was putting the students to uncertainty by not laying down a specific timeline for exams and results, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari asked, “You can’t keep things so uncertain like this? You have to give at least 15 days notice. When are you going to do this?”.
Referring to the possible third wave and the new Delta plus variant of coronavirus, the bench also observed that the pandemic situation is very uncertain and no one can predict what could happen during the last week of July.
No reason why the Andhra board can’t cancel the Class 12 board exams
Justice Khanwilkar also questioned the point that “other state boards have cancelled the exams taking note of the ground realities. The other boards have cancelled it. There is no reason why this board can’t follow it just because it wants to show it is different.”
The top court was hearing a plea for the cancellation of Class 12 exams in the state. During the hearing, the Supreme Court also said there can’t be a uniform scheme for assessment for all state boards across India. The court also refused to pass such an order while hearing a plea seeking cancellation of class XII exams. The hearing is set to continue on Friday (June 25).