The Delhi High Court Thursday allowed a student to withdraw the plea challenging UGC guidelines making it mandatory for colleges to conduct final year exams by September-end as the issue is pending before the Supreme Court.
Justice Jayant Nath, who conducted the hearing through video conferencing, also granted liberty to the student to approach the Supreme Court with his plea.
“Granting leave and liberty as sought, the petition is dismissed as withdrawn,” the court said.
The plea filed by final year Delhi University student Kabir Sachdeva challenged the guidelines of July 6, making it mandatory for colleges to conduct exams for the final year students by the end of September this year via offline, online or a blended method in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Advocate Manik Dogra, representing Sachdeva, informed the high court that similar petitions challenging the guidelines of the University Grants Commission (UGC) are also filed in the Supreme Court and a better recourse would be to approach the apex court now.
Advocate Apoorv Kurup, representing the UGC, said the matter is listed before the apex court on Friday and they have been asked to file response to the petitions.
The high court had earlier sought response of the Centre, the UGC and Delhi University on the petition which has also challenged an office memorandum of July 6 passed by the Ministry of Human Resources and Development, Department of Higher Education, providing instructions for conducting the exams along with standard operating procedures for conducting the exams.
“In times of a global pandemic the respondent no. 1 (HRD Ministry) and 2 (UGC) have placed irrational weightage on academic evaluation and completely neglected the importance of lives of thousands of students. The UGC has also acted in contravention and beyond powers conferred upon them under the University Grants Commission Act, 1956,” said the plea, filed through advocates Dhruv Pande and Randeep Sachdeva.
It sought to direct the authorities to promote final year students on the basis of average of the marks obtained in previous years and internal assessment in the present year.
On July 6, the UGC had issued revised exam guidelines mandating to hold final examinations in colleges and universities by the end of September stating that the academic credibility, career opportunities and future progress of students were linked to exams. PTI SKV HMP SA