The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a plea on May 31, a petition seeking cancellation of Class XII CBSE and Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) exams amid the ongoing second wave of the Covid pandemic in the country.
A bench comprising Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari said: “Please be optimistic. There may be some resolution by Monday.”
The bench fixed the matter for further hearing Monday while asking the petitioner to serve copies of the plea on the two boards as well as the central government.
The bench said that it will wait to see if any decision is taken by the Centre in the meantime.
The bench noted that the CBSE would announce the schedule for the board exams on June 1.
The petition filed by advocate Mamta Sharma urged the top court to issue directions to the boards to cancel the Class XII examinations, instead devise an objective methodology to declare the result within a specific time-frame.
“The Covid -19 situation is more severe in comparison to last year and require the respondents to adopt the same criteria of assessing the grading/marks of Class XII students as done in the last year”, said the plea.
The plea contended that notifications issued by CBSE and ICSE deferring the exams to an unspecified date should be quashed, adding that students cannot be subjected to suffer uncertainty amid unprecedented public health crisis.
“In view of the unprecedented health emergency and rising numbers of the Covid -19 cases in the country, the conduct of examination (either offline/online/blended) in upcoming weeks is not possible and delay in examination will cause irreparable loss to the students as time is the essence in taking admission in higher education courses in foreign universities”, the plea argued.
The plea contended that it is a fit case wherein the top court may exercise its power under Article 142 of the Constitution of India to direct the respondents to implement the same methodology, which is being adopted for Class X to declare the result and cancel the examination for Class XII.
Last year, amid the pandemic the top court had asked boards to determine and declare Class XII exam results on the basis of earlier assessment of students.