The Supreme Court once again on Friday kept in suspense the conduct of the final year exams in September by refusing to pass any interim order.

Curiously, the UGC stated in the court that students should continue to prepare and "let nobody be under the impression that final exams will be stayed because the Supreme Court is hearing the case." Also, it underscored that nobody will be awarded a degree without appearing.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta made this statement on behalf of the UGC in the apex court which is hearing a bunch of petitions, including one by filed Maharashtra Tourism Minister Aditya Thackeray.The Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah refused to pass any interim order and posted the next hearing to August 10, telling the solicitor general to spell out the stand of the Ministry of Home Affairs in the matter.It also sought the reasoning of the disaster management committees in Maharashtra and Delhi on their refusal to hold exams in September in the light of the pandemic and apprise the court of the ground situation, fixing August 7 for filing of the affidavits.At the fag-end of the hearing, advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, appearing for some of the petitioners, raised the issue of plight of students of the flood-hit areas of Assam and Bihar.

"On August 10, we will hear it," presiding judge Bhushan declared.The solicitor general said only some 590 out of over 800 universities could not complete the final exams and 390 of them are in the process of conducting them as directed by the UGC. He said 209 universities have already completed the exams and so there is no issue of exams in September with them.In its 50-page affidavit filed on Thursday, the UGC had justified its direction on July 6 to all universities to complete the final year exams in September, saying it is to protect the academic future of the students across the country "which will be irreparably damaged if their final year examinations are not held."

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal