The Supreme Court is hearing an appeal challenging the University Grants Commission’s decision to conduct final year exams by the end of September. The case is listed as the first item in front of a bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan. Before the hearing, the petitioner submitted a written submission to the Supreme Court on Monday, stating that the decision to conduct UGC final year examinations is a violation of various provisions of the UGC Act and regulations, excluding the provisions of the Constitution. The petitioners, through their lawyer submissions filed by lawyer Alok Alok Srivastava, asserted that the guidelines dated July 6, 2020, directing all universities to conduct final year examinations by September 30, is a violation of the UGC Act 12 of the UGC Act. Bypassing the statutory duty to make such guidelines “in consultation with universities or other related institutions”.
1:25 PM: SG Mehta continues his submissions. They refer to compilations that counted the UGC guidelines.
1:21 PM: Senior advocate KV Vishwanathan says SV. Mehta asks him how to deal with physical files during COVID.
SG responds, but no voice.
Viswanathan: Oh, you’re muted. For a change!
The connection with the judiciary is lost.
SG: Must be a power problem. I have a problem.
KV Vivanathan: Imagine the plight of the students!
1:14 PM: SG: The Tribunal must decide who is the greatest. This is called Central v. I don’t want to make a state argument. But, let’s look at the UGC Act and its powers.
1:11 PM: Solicitor General Tushar Mehta has now started his submissions. Your Lordship has the power to set it aside. However, I will outline the jurisdiction.
1:10 PM: Navarre: In this scenario, the UGC has the power to mandate the conduct of tests. But, yes, the September 30 deadline should be left to individual universities. Therefore, I fully support the UGC Guidelines.
1:09 PM: Navarre: The only powers conferred on the State are under Section 8. There are no provisions authorizing the State. In fact, the VC is also authorized, but not by the state.
1:07 PM: Navarre: This is not an opportunity to gain popularity among students from the chief ministers of states. The DMA gives the SDMA no power to do this.
1:06 PM: Navarre: At most, in its vast amplitude, deadlines can be moved. However, states cannot be directed not to conduct tests.
1:05 PM: Navarre: I must raise the issue that students who do not want to take exams are not asked under Article 32.
1:04 PM: Navarre: The decision of the UGC is in the four corners of its power. It does not exceed their authority.
1:04 PM: Navarre: Apart from infectious disease, there is no legitimacy in the decision of the UGC.
1:03 PM: Senior lawyer Vinay Navarre has now made his submissions.
1:02 PM: Narasimha: I do not think that the guidelines laid down by the UGC violate health issues as Viswanathan said. We must move on.
1:01 PM: Narasimha: Moreover, life must go on! The government is working, the courts are working. We need to be resilient in this regard. In this case, the UGC has issued COVID guidelines.
1:00 PM: Narasimha: There are students who have put a lot of hope in their last exam. He thinks that “the ultimate test is ayaga do karange.” By staying out of the exam, great students are at risk.
1:00 PM: Narasimha highlights the importance of the final year exam in assessing the ability of a fellow student for higher education purposes.
12:58 PM: Narasimha: It should be noted that for many students, going to higher education abroad, the final exam is absolutely necessary.
12:56 PM: Senior Adv. Submissions begin by P.S.Narasimha
12:55 PM: Adv. Kishore Lambat, for the intermediary, will make his submissions. They point out that there are parents who have lost their jobs and that students are facing difficulties.
12:52 PM: Alok Alok further highlights that there are flood-prone areas and will not hinder the conduct of inspections.
The court says these arguments have been made before.
12:51 PM: Allakh Alok: Coming to constitutional arguments, my predecessors have passed, they are treated on a different footing and I am at a disadvantage. It is against art. 14.
12:50 PM: Allakh Alok: Furthermore, the format of the exams should be communicated to the students at the beginning of the semester. The session began in July 2019. Of course the epidemic cannot be addressed.
12:49 PM: Srivastava: Section 14 of the UGC Act states that if the University fails to comply with the UGC guidelines, the UGC may stop granting it. That’s a wide range.
12:48 PM: Srivastava: Section 14 of the UGC Act states that if the University fails to comply with the UGC guidelines, the UGC may stop granting it. That’s a wide scope.
12:48 PM: Srivastava: These tests have a direct impact on the health of millions of students. Section 12 requires consultation and consultation must include public health experts.
12:47 PM: Adv. Alok Alok Srivastava begins their submissions.
12:46 PM: Aurora: Please note that when announcing the results of the remaining students, the universities take the situation and take the students on the field.
12:45 PM: Aurora: You have to take this seriously. Not only do they suffer from the trauma of the epidemic, but the psychological trauma that students go through is exacerbating the problem.
12:44 PM: Justice Bhushan: What is your solution? It has been argued.
Aurora: DU has already begun testing. I request my Lordships to treat the students who are unable to give exams in equal measure.
12:43 PM: Aurora: The thing here is that other universities, jobs have limited positions, which can be met quickly. Losing the remaining students
12:42 PM: Senior Adv. Mihir Desai tries to make submissions on behalf of mediators. The jury says they will listen to him later.
Senior Adv. Meenakshi Arora now makes submissions.
12:41 PM: # Senior advocates in Delhi submitted that the students had already arranged their affairs in accordance with the guidelines of the UGC, which left it to the states to decide on final examinations in accordance with local circumstances.
12:40 PM: Tribunal: There are no contradictions between the April and July guidelines. They first allowed the universities the discretion to decide on the method.
12:39 PM: Viswanathan: Finally, what happens to universities that have already followed the April guidelines? Students have already arranged their affairs according to those guidelines.
12:38 PM: There is no rationale behind the exemption of exams for final semester students, other semesters are exempted
12:37 PM: Viswanathan: The poor, the downtrodden and those who do not have access to technology will be more difficult. Unless you decide to give them all the tablets.
12:36 PM: Viswanathan: The court should not rest with the Kuhad Committee report. No alternative mechanisms have been explored. Please contact a reputable person.
12:35 PM: Viswanathan: It is easier to devise an alternative procedure for final sem students than for second sem students.
12:34 PM: Viswanathan: There is no rational difference between the last semester students and the second semester students. Inequality is being treated equally.
12:33 PM: Viswanathan: In the scenario we have today, we need to devise a different approach. This is an exceptional situation.
12:32 PM: Viswanathan: The strongest argument for SG here is that the last few circulars are guidelines. But, they cannot be compulsory.
12:31 PM: Viswanathan: This is the path and object of the argument. Section 12 (Consultation) has been argued, so I will not review it.
12:30 pm: Viswanathan: There are grandparents, students who have parents; They’re not stepping out of the house! They do not have access to books (which can be very expensive).
12:28 PM: Viswanathan: As per the July 6 guidelines, three modes of testing are permitted. Offline – totally out of the question! Online – They don’t have access to libraries or any student materials.
12:27 PM: Viswanathan highlights the divide between rich and poor students, the latter lacking access to proper technology.
12:26 PM: The jury informs Datta that these proposals have already been argued.
Senior Adv. KV Vishwanathan will now begin his submissions on behalf of the Delhi government.
12:25 PM: Datta: Well, they care about the standards of testing. But, what about public health?
Justice Dutta informs them that these proposals have already been argued.
Senior Adv. KV Vishwanathan will now begin his submissions on behalf of the Delhi government.
12:24 PM: Datta: There are dual factors. There is education and public health. UGC has not told the court what they are doing about public health!
12:24 PM: DATA: UGC has not consulted with the state. The state is operating at ground level and knows how to make the situation. It is the duty of the state to ensure public health.
12:23 PM: Datta: They don’t care about public health.
Tribunal: Guidelines on social distance etc. are yet to be followed.
12:22 PM: DATA: UGC cannot treat this as a normal situation. It is likely they will continue to be based on 2019 or 2018. These are exceptional circumstances.
12:21 PM: Datta submits that different states cannot be treated on the same plate as each state has some characteristics. Furthermore, the UGC did not take these differences into account.
12:20 PM: Senior lawyer Jaideep Gupta concludes his submissions.
West Bengal AG, Kishore Dutta will now start submissions.
12:19 PM: Gupta: Furthermore, it cannot be said that three persons across the country form the right consultation method. UGC does not comply with Section 12 of the UGC Act.
12:18 PM: Gupta: It’s impossible for them to hear us. In the process, many students are left out.
12:18 PM: Gupta: They have not taken into account the admission of students. West Bengal is unable to conduct online exams because there is no technology to give exams to students.
12:17 PM: Gupta: These guidelines are an executive order and have yet to be examined under paragraph 14. Wednesbury rules apply. The UGC does not simply take ground realities into account.
12:16 PM: Gupta: There is also the Amphon storm, which has caused many organizations to turn into shelters. Physical examinations are simply not possible in this situation.
12:15 PM: Gupta: These are special cases that affect West Bengal. Metro is not working, local trains are not working. The question of conducting tests arises
12:14 PM: Gupta: In West Bengal, we have no campus centers. There are a variety of centers that need to be booked and students need to travel across the state and get accommodation.
12:13 PM: Gupta: The last semester does not make it mandatory to take the exam because there is no difference between the last semester and the second semester or any semester.
12:12 PM: Gupta: This is not a reasonable proposition because every semester is important and the average of the semesters is important. He’s been putting on a lot of weight in the last semester.
12:12 PM: Gupta: My submission is that the July 6 UGC Guidelines are not a statutory document. Making tests mandatory by September 30 is unreasonable.
12:11 PM: Gupta: As Mr Datar observes, in the semester and yearly system, the total number of marks is implemented.
JUSTICE: No problem. If it allows, the university is free to evolve its own procedure.
12:11 PM: Senior Adv. On behalf of the Teachers Union, Jaideep Gupta now makes his submissions on the situation in the state of West Bengal.
12:10 PM: AG of Odisha: We are writing to the government to make this situation understandable to them.
Justice Bhushan: We read your counter.
12:09 PM: Odisha AG: In the present case, it is absolutely impossible for the state to conduct tests under the UGC mandate. Odisha is at its peak!
12:08 PM: Hostels for Odisha’s AG students are a tough task, colleges have been closed since March and home owners are not ready to accommodate students.
12:08 PM: The Odisha State of Odisha quotes the affidavit of the state to put forward the procedure for conducting the test.
12:07 PM: Odisha AG: In the prevailing situation of COVID-19, it is not possible to run conventional test. In this context, our submission is that the test is the culmination of 6 cm.
12:06 PM: Tribunal says they will first ask the state of Odisha.
The AG of Odisha submits that their arguments are on the path of Datar.
12:05 PM: Tribunal says they will first ask the state of Odisha.
The AG of Odisha submits that their arguments are on the path of Datar.
12:04 PM: Adv. The tribunal says that Alok Alok Srivastava will try to make a submission, but he will hear his submissions later.
12:03 PM: DATAR: One delegated legislation and another state legislation. It states that a state has complete autonomy. The statutory provision exceeds the guidelines. There is no disgust.
12:02 PM: Datar concludes his submission by submitting the Maharashtra Test Act to submit a legal proposal.
12:01 PM: Judge tells Datar that they have noticed all these submissions.
Justice Shah (in a light vein): Allow other counselors to pass the test!
12:00 pm: Datar: UGC has directed the final exams to be conducted by September 30, without consulting anyone in Maharashtra and finding out the state of affairs.
12:00 pm: Justice Bhushan asks if there is more to it.
Datar highlights a few paragraphs about the practical difficulties associated with the conduct of tests.
11:59 AM: Datar: I’ve heard all over Maharashtra. Never contacted anyone. No one has tried to find out what the situation in Maharashtra is. Section 12 is not followed.
11:59 AM: Datar submitted that Prof.R.Kuhad presided over the first committee. The second committee was also under him.
They say they have not contacted other universities and other institutions.
11:58 AM: DATAR: UGC’s stance in April is to allow states to call for final exams; A panel of experts recommended that students be evaluated on internal scores. Now the UGC has turned.
DATAR: In the second panel, kindly look at who they approached. It’s very interesting.
Datar was requested to read page 7 of the SG Mehta affidavit.
11:57 AM: It is stated in the April 29 report that states will be left to discretion, and the latest test says final exams should be conducted.
11:56 AM: Datar points out that the latest committee report (which mandates that tests be mandated) does not mention who was contacted.
11:55 AM: Datar: This report was published by a panel of experts. Please see who they are on April 30th.
11:54 AM: Datar: Experts say that if the committee’s recommendations do not reduce the severity of the situation, students can be evaluated on internal scores.
11:53 AM: Datar: Those guidelines are now mandatory. If the same UGC says it again, chart your own course, how can they force us now?
11:52 AM: Senior adviser to Maharashtra Arvind Datar has raised the issue of lack of access to online education for all students.
11:51 AM: Datar: He said this is not feasible and this is with some cases.
11:50 AM: Datar: I’ll take 10 minutes. This is the beginning of # COVID19. Some universities have noticed a lack of infrastructure to conduct online tests.
11:49 AM: Datar is now pointing to a common compilation.
11:48 AM: Datar: My submission is that any decision to take should be with the universities. “Other concerned organizations” shall include officers under the DMA.
11:47 AM: Datar now mentions UGC Act and Commission duties.
“Consult with universities and other institutions concerned”.
11:46 AM: Datar: We are worried about the students as well. We too want tests to be done quickly. We are worried about their future, but we cannot do it this way.
11:45 AM: Datar: When it comes to entrance and online exams, how can students without access be able to give exams? What about students with disabilities?
11:44 AM: Datar: There are many educational institutions, which have been converted into quarantine centers. According to the MHA guidelines, they are not open until August 31st.
11:43 AM: Datar: Another point I make is that the education center with millions of students in Pune is empty because the students are returning home.
11:42 AM: Datar: UGC says states can take the situation into account and conduct tests but by September 30th.
How can we run tests now when we can’t run tests when the cases are 15,000?
11:41 AM: Justice Bhushan has said that the argument that UGC is being discriminated against will be raised if different states have different dates.
11:40 AM: Datar: How can you say Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha should hold it by September 30? This is a complete violation of art. 14.
11:40 AM: Datar AIR 61 SC 552 refers to the verdict with reference.
He submits that if you treat inequality equally, Article 14 is violated.
11:40 AM: Justice Bhushan: There is no dispute that Maharashtra is the worst.
11:39 AM: Datar: The situation in Maharashtra is terrible for # COVID19.
11:38 AM: DATAR: Responsible for smashing the July 6 guidelines.
11:37 AM: Datar: This is outside the purview of the UGC’s powers. UGC’s Ultra Wires are mandatory tests that run through September 30.
11:36 AM: DATAR: They can’t say that you should run tests at any cost by September 30th. The Constitutional Bench states that their powers are limited to List 1 and are limited.
11:35 AM: DATAR: My second submission is that the UGC’s directive to all universities to hold it by September 30 at any cost is completely in violation of its authority.
11:34 AM: Datar: My first submission is that there is nothing arbitrary in the decision making university against the UGC. If IIT can do that, so can others.
11:33 AM: Justice Bhushan: If there is a directive against UGC, the university cannot act against it. If a university makes it weak, then every university does this. If the standard is fixed, it is fixed.
Datar: You are of the opinion that not conducting the test will lead to impairment of standards.
Justice Bhushan: We understand your argument.
11:32 AM: Datar: Please note that job interviews are also held in the last semester. Here is a student who has completed the 87.5% course.
11:31 AM: Datar: Praise kindly, I’m not saying that a 2nd year student should pass. I would say this is a student who has almost finished the course.
11:30 AM: Justice Shaw: According to you, only five semesters are considered, and six are not conducted.
11:29 AM: Justice Bhushan: We have gone through the rules. If you have something to point out, suggest.
Justice Shah asks Datar to read the 8.1 regulation
11:28 AM: Justice Bhushan: We understand your case that this system is in Maharashtra. But the whole country is different. What’s your argument?
11:27 AM: Justice Shah: So, universities have a choice about the semester system they want to follow.
11:26 AM: Datar: I want to make one thing clear. These rules apply throughout India.
11:24 AM: Datar: The semester system applies across the country.
SG: It’s not.
Datar: As far as my instruction, it is.
11:24 AM: Justice Bhushan has said that arguments need to be resolved in a way that affects the entire country and that UGC should not be confined to one state as it applies across the country.
11:23 AM: SG Mehta asks if there is this pattern in all universities.
Datar says this is true for the state of Maharashtra.
11:22 AM: Datar: Now today we are only concerned with the final exams. If there are 42 courses, the student has already completed 36. As of March, his CGPA averaged the first five cms.
11:21 AM: Datar: If I was a 1st semester student, I would write courses and score points
11:20 AM: DATAR: Clause 6, read with Clause 8 of the 2003 Guidelines, gives a picture of the student being evaluated from Day 1. It is different from what we have in our days.
11:16 AM: DATAR: By March 2020, 5 semesters have already been completed, and the internal assessment for the 6th sem is almost over.
11:15 AM: Datar: We have 3 year degree and 5 year degree courses. I currently only care about non-professional courses. In 2003, there was a semester system.
11:14 AM: Datar: Note 3 things – what is a program, what is a semester and what is the course.
11:13 AM: Datar: Let me explain why not conducting tests is not fatal and why it is not impaired. We are now dealing with the 2003 UGC Guidelines.
11:12 AM: Datar: I’m only putting forward a good argument. If the Center for International Reputation could do this, why can’t we?
11:11 AM: DATAR: IIT will offer degrees without conducting final exams by itself.
Justice Bhushan: We don’t care about IIT.
11:10 AM: Datar quotes Justice Reddy’s question whether not conducting the test will result in impairment.
11:09 AM: Justice Ashok Bhushan outlines the arbitrary scope of authority under the Disaster Management Act.
11:08 AM: “Only officers can decide their welfare. Students are not capable enough to decide. ”
Justice B.R. Gawaii asked, “Does not the conduct of the tests alone cause them to undermine the standards?”
11:07 AM: Datar: You raised two questions. I come to the constitutional aspect later. I raise the issue of “student welfare”.
Justice Bhushan says students cannot decide their welfare.
11:05 AM: Justice Shah: But, UGC is not conducting tests here. It’s up to the universities. You cannot say that UGC conducts tests.
11:04 AM: Datar submitted that it was stated in the judgment that Entry 66 has very limited scope. This means “setting standards, but not behavior”.
11:03 AM: Datar: 2016 7 SCC. This was related to medical education and the main controversy was what was the authority of the state government. And the central government
DATAR: Please note that it is “coordination and determination of standards” here.
They will continue to read the verdict.
11:03 AM: Justice MRShah said the verdict was related to medical colleges.
Datar will tell the jury that he will continue with the 2016 ruling and try to address its relevance.
11:02 AM: Datar now signs the verdict.
11:02 AM: DATAR: The UGC Act is marked in Entry 66 of Table 1. My submission may set UGC standards, but it does not force you to run tests.
11:01 AM: Judge asks Datar to proceed now.
11:00 AM: There is some confusion about the counters being referenced. Datar informs the court that the counter he is referring to is on July 30.
10:59 AM: Tribunal is now reviewing submissions.
10:58 AM: Datar continues his submissions.
10:57 AM: SG Mehta asks him to send written submissions to him. Dotar Blocks.
10:56 AM: Datar: I’m getting into the practical difficulties of running tests. Please come to the counter submitted by #UGC. I will refer to the general compilation and my written submissions.
10:55 AM: Senior Adv. Arvind Datar begins submission to the state of Maharashtra. He says the state is highly affected.
10:45 AM: Bench assembled. Listening soon
10:44 AM: Coming soon
10:41 AM: Control Room Coordinator notifies advisers that items will be taken together at 1, 2, 3, 30 and 31 (applications against the UGC Guidelines).
10:40 AM: A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan will convene on VC-5 soon.
(With live law inputs)
Written submissions in SC
It is mentioned in the submission that despite this mandate under Section 12, UGC has failed to consult with universities or other institutions. The UGC deliberately relies on the recommendations of the Kuhad Committee, which stated that the committee “cannot be judged as a university or other institution.”
Lawyer Srivastava, through written submissions, demonstrated that the Kuhad Committee did not include any health experts of infectious disease pathologists, but instead included only academics and therefore did not standardize the statutory examination of Section 12 of the UVC Act between COVID. 19 Pandemic Context.
“Section 12 of the Act states that UGC can only recommend and advise universities and cannot implement the guidelines laid down under Section 12. Therefore the mandatory nature of the Guidelines dated 06.07.2020 further violates this section 12 of the UGC Act.
Applicant submits that Rule 6.3 mandates that students be informed at the “beginning of an academic session” the format of the final exam, either written or oral, for each course. It said that the UGC would not be allowed to notify the format of its final year examination on 06.07.2020 “after the completion of the academic session of the final year students”.
Applicants UGC Guidelines The Equal Rights granted to all persons under Article 14 of the Constitution are considered derogatory. Students who passed the exams got their final marksheets / degrees by 31.07.2019. However, this year’s students may receive similar final marksheets / degrees by or after the end of September, which may deprive them of various employment / admissions opportunities. Are exempt.