The Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy, and MR Shah had reserved judgement in this matter on August 18 after a detailed hearing spanning over two days. The Bench is scheduled to pronounce its verdict on Friday in petitions seeking cancellation of final year exams.
On July 6, the UGC in its revised guidelines directed that all the universities and colleges should conduct final year exams amid the COVID-19 pandemic while following the Standard Operating Procedure.
However, some state governments had already cancelled university final year exams, while asking universities to consider adopting an alternative marking system amid a spurt in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country. Not just students, but also teachers’ associations and youth wings of political parties approached the Supreme Court seeking the cancellation of the exams.
The University Grants Commission had told the top court that the states cannot take decisions to confer degrees without holding the examinations. It had told the court that the directive is for the “benefit of students” as the universities have to commence the admission process to postgraduate courses and state authorities cannot override the UGC’s guideline.
The top court had observed that the issue is if the state disaster management authority has decided that the situation is not conducive for conducting exams, can they overrule the UGC. It had said that another issue is whether the commission can override state authorities and ask the universities to hold examinations on given dates.
The apex court was earlier told by one of the petitioners that nobody is against the university examinations in “normal times” and the students are challenging the UGC’s decision because of the pandemic.
(With inputs from PTI)