In Recent High Court’s Order on 15.09.2020, a Division bench of Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy passed their order in the PIL Balmoori Narsing Rao vs Union of India & Ors.
Facts of the Public Interest Litigation filed by the Balmoori Venkat Narsing Rao and Gareeb Guide (Voluntary Organisation) are as follows:
A PIL was filed in the High Court Of Telangana where the petitioners had prayed that the Court should direct the respondents to not to conduct Telangana Common Entrance Test and also to promote students studying in various undergraduate and postgraduate students without conducting any exams because of the Covid-19 pandemic. They also requested that the other courses like Typewriting and Shorthand examinations should also come under the purview of the order.
A similar PIL was also filed by Gareeb Guide, where they had also requested the Court to direct the respondents to promote students without conducting exams. They also requested the Court that TS EAMCET 2020 should also be postponed.
During the course of hearing, the Hon’ble judges noted that the Telangana Common Entrance test had already begun and both the petitioners have also given up on their plea to stop the exam.
Issue Before the Court
The only issue that was put before the Court now was whether final year exams for postgraduate and undergraduate courses should be allowed to commence or not.
Contentions raised by the counsels:-
The counsel for the petitioner, Mr C Damodar Reddy, argued that the respondents have stated that the examinations should be conducted. Still, if some students are unable to appear for the exam, then another supplementary exam will be held for them. The counsel stated that no date had been mentioned as to when the supplementary exam will take place. If the supplementary exam gets delayed, then the students may lose one whole academic year because of that.
Counsel for the respondents, Union of India, submitted before the Court that the commencement of supplementary exam was a decision that has to be taken by the Department of Collegiate Education and Technical Education and they cannot provide a definite date as of now.
Counsel for the respondent Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Hyderabad informed the Court that they would conduct the supplementary exam within two months from the date when the regular exams are concluded.
The reasoning of the Court
After the perusal of all the documents placed on record as well as the submissions made by all the parties, the Court appreciated the fact that the Department of Collegiate Education and Technical Education has given the freedom to autonomous colleges whether they want to hold the exams, in offline mode(physical exams) or online mode.
The department had also directed all the colleges that were affiliated to them to hold physical examinations, and the Court believed that they should not interfere in this decision as in the Court’s opinion they cannot pass an order on policy decisions “in the garb of judicial review under Article 226 of the Constitution of India”.
The decision of the Court
- The Court requested the Department of Collegiate Education and Technical Education to conduct the supplementary exam as early as possible.
- They also directed the Commissioner, Collegiate Education and Technical Education, Government of Telangana to ensure that all the safety precautions are taken when conducting physical exams due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Title: Balmoori Venkat Narsing Rao vs The Union of India and others
Case No.- Writ Petition (PIL NO.) 138 and 143 of 2020
Date of Decision: 15.09.2020
Quorum: Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy
Appearance: Mr. B.S. Prasad, Advocate General, Mr. Dharmesh J K Jaishwal, Mr. T S Anand GP for Higher Education, Mr. V. Ramachander Goud, Mr. M. Venugopal Rao, Mr. Ch. Jagannatha Rao