HC declines to stay Kerala varsity exams

COurt order based on petition of 23 PG students and a Law student

The Kerala High court refused to stay the Kerala University exams that are to begin from July 1 considering the submission of the university authorities that students could appear for exams in various sub centres of their choice.

The court’s decision was on a writ petition filed by 23 students, who were pursuing their fourth semester Postgraduate courses under the university, and another Law student.

The petitioners contended that the university notified the exams regardless of the University Grants Commission (Minimum Standards of instructions for the Grant of the Master’s Degree through Formal Education) Regulations, 2003.

They submitted that the minimum number of classes could not be conducted by the university due to the lockdown. Also, many students were staying in far away districts and could not travel to attend the examinations.

However, the university submitted that students were given the option to select their examination centres according to their convenience, either in the main centres or in the sub centres arranged in 10 districts outside the territorial jurisdiction of the university and in Lakshadweep.

The university had prepared a set of COVID-19 protocol guidelines for the conduct of the examinations, as per the Health protocol issued by the State Health Department and the State government. The postponement of the examinations indefinitely would lead to course lag, it submitted.

The university would hold additional examinations for those candidates who could not appear for the examinations to begin from July 1, on valid reasons. Such examinations would be treated as special examinations and no additional examination fee would be collected. It would also not be considered as a supplementary examination and would have the legal status of an ordinary examination, the university submitted.

Noting that the scope of the judicial review in the scheduling of the examination was very limited, the court declined to pass an interim order staying the examinations.

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