New Delhi: The Supreme Court warned the Andhra Pradesh government on Tuesday (June 22) that if there is a fatality, the state will be held liable.
Andhra Pradesh and Kerala are the only two states that have decided to hold the Class 12 board examination, according to a bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari.
“You will have to provide very compelling reasons for holding Class 12 board examinations. If there is a fatality, we will hold the state accountable,” the bench told Andhra Pradesh’s counsel.
At the outset, advocate Mahfooz Nazki, representing the state, stated that the government has decided to hold the examination for the time being, but that the final decision will be made in the first week of July.
The bench wanted to know why the state was sowing doubt in the minds of students by postponing the final decision until the first week of July.
“You make your decision by Wednesday, and we will hear it on Thursday,” the bench told Nazki.
The Supreme Court is hearing a petition asking the court to order state governments not to hold board exams in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It questioned Nazki about what makes the Andhra Pradesh government believe it can hold the examination and whether the state has all necessary logistics in place in case of a pandemic.
Nazki stated that it has nearly five lakh students and that 15 students will be forced to sit in one class room during the examination.
The bench also questioned the counsel about the state’s ability to accommodate students during the examinations.
“Why don’t you use schemes like CBSE and CISCE to assess students?” asked the bench.
Nazki stated that they have a problem because grace marks are given in class 10 in the state boards, and students’ internal assessment mechanisms are not very strong.
“You must come up with a very good reason if you want us to allow you to hold the Class 12 board exams,” the bench said. You must make a decision and file an affidavit by tomorrow.”
According to Advocate G Prakash, who is representing the Kerala government, they have filed an affidavit indicating the state government’s decision to hold the examination.
The bench stated that it will consider the Kerala government’s affidavit on Thursday and asked a state students’ body to file a counter-affidavit to the state government’s response.
The Assam and Tripura governments informed the Supreme Court on Monday that their state boards of Class 12 board exams had been cancelled due to the pandemic.
The Counsel for the Karnataka government stated that while the Class 12 board exam has been cancelled, no final decision has been made regarding the Class 10 examination.
On June 17, the Supreme Court was informed that six states (Assam, Punjab, Tripura, and Andhra Pradesh) had already conducted board exams, 18 states had cancelled them, and four states (Assam, Punjab, Tripura, and Andhra Pradesh) had not cancelled them as of yet.
(With inputs from news agencies)