The Supreme Court on Friday approved the guidelines issued by the Universities Grants Commission (UGC) on July 6 for holding final semester exams by September 30.
A bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah stated that “the guidelines were issued with the object that a uniform academic calendar be followed by al the Universities and final year examinations be held”.
The court also observed that “the students who look forward for admission in higher classes or take employment require final degree for their career prospect and to maintain uniformity in dates by which final examinations are over is with the object of students welfare and for their career and it cannot be said that since uniform date has been fixed by which terminal semester examinations are to be completed, Article 14 has been violated”.
The bench also held that State cannot promote the students in final year without the exams. However, the court held that the State Disaster Management Authority can take a decision to postpone exams overriding the UGC directions.
The courts have further observed that “the earlier guidelines as well as revised guidelines have taken due notice of the prevailing situation of Covid-19 and it cannot be said that the expert body is unaware of pandemic spread throughout the country. The criticism of guidelines that they are unreasonable does not inspire any confidence”.
However, the court granted liberty to States/UTS to approach the UGC to seek extension of the September 30 deadline in the light of the current pandemic situation.
READ THE FULL JUDGEMENT- https://main.sci.gov.in/supremecourt/2020/15106/15106_2020_35_1501_23651_Judgement_28-Aug-2020.pdf