COVID-19: Bombay HC refuses to stay health sciences exams for undergraduates

Narsi Benwal | Updated on: Saturday, June 05, 2021, 02:53 PM IST

COVID-19: Bombay HC refuses to stay health sciences exams for undergraduates  | Unsplash
COVID-19: Bombay HC refuses to stay health sciences exams for undergraduates | Unsplash

In a significant order, the Bombay High Court bench of Justice Avinash Gharote at Nagpur seat on Saturday refused to stay the offline exams for undergraduate students of the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS). The HC, however, granted some relief to students, who opposed the exams, by ordering the authorities to allow only those students, who furnish an RT-PCR negative report.

The bench was seized with a plea filed by a student Shweta Burbure through advocate Rahul Bhangde opposing the offline exams. The student along with an NGO sought orders for conducting exams virtually or promoting them to the next semester.

The exams for health science courses such as physiotherapy, nursing etc are slated to commence from June 10.

Justice Gharote had heard closed the matter for orders on Friday and on Saturday, he sat especially for this matter.

Pronouncing the verdict, Justice Gharote said, "I am not inclined to give any relief (to stay the exams) at this stage. Exams will proceed as per the schedule."

However, advocate Bhangde on behalf of the students sought relief to the extent that only students with a negative report be allowed to give exams.

"A single positive student has the potential to infect everyone in the exam hall. Thus, it would be very helpful if a direction is given to the authorities," Bhangde urged.

At this, MUHS counsel Abhijit Deshpande said it wouldn't be possible to test students at this nth hour. He argued that the students should have had come to the court with this request much earlier and not just a few days before the exams.

"There was no such exercise done even for NEET exams. However, if the court orders, students can be asked to undergo the tests and submit reports by June 10, the first day of exams," he submitted.

Having heard the contentions Justice Gharote said, "The MUHS to issue advisory to principals of all colleges and put the same on their website indicating that it would be desirable that each examinee gets tested for Covid-19 and should produce negative report along with hall ticket in the exam hall."

"The reports will have to be produced on June 10. In case a student doesn't have a report, s/he should be allowed to appear for the exams and be asked to get a test done and submit a report, preferably by June 15," the judge added.

Further, the judge said that it would, however, be the responsibility of students to undergo the tests.

"Needless to say that in case the report is found positive such a student would not be in a position to undertake the exams," Justice Gharote held.

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Published on: Saturday, June 05, 2021, 02:53 PM IST