Adding further uncertainty to the aspirations of over six lakh students across the country, the Central Board of Secondary Education is back in the Supreme Court on Thursday saying it is "impossible" to meet the court's deadline to hold fresh All India Pre-Medical and Pre-Dental Entrance Test 2015 in four weeks.
Three days after the apex court ordered the Board to pull up its socks after directing re-examination in the light of massive exam fraud and pending investigation regarding the earlier exam held on May 3, 2015, the CBSE's reluctance now leaves students in dire straits.
A vacation bench, led by Justice R.K. Agrawal taking note of the seriousness of the issue and paucity of time, scheduled the hearing on the plea for extension of time to June 19.
In its June 15 judgment, the apex court held that any attempt to save the May 3 exam in the light of the cheating scandal would “leave merit a casualty and generate frustration among genuine students”.
It said if the Supreme Court allows the exam to survive, a wrong message would be sent that crime pays and students would be encouraged to lean towards unfair means.
What is most important, the court had held, is to sustain the public's faith in the exam system as a fair, transparent and credible method to evaluate the merit and worth of the candidates.
A bench of Justices R.K. Agrawal and Amitava Roy in their judgment had said the inconvenience of a repeat exam is a small price to pay compared to the dent public faith would suffer if the “suspect” May 3 exam survived.
The court had further relieved the Board of any involvemeny in the scandal, observing that no conscious lapse or omission has come to light against it.
“We are aware, that the abrogation of the examination, would result in some inconvenience to all concerned and that some extra time would be consumed for holding a fresh examination... this, however is the price, the stakeholders would have to suffer in order to maintain the impeccable and irrefutable sanctity and credibility of a process of examination,” Justice Roy wrote in the judgment for the bench.
The court extolled the role-players to consider the conduct of the fresh exams as a “collective challenge".
Police reports had revealed the magnitude of the racket. They said 358 suspected mobile numbers were used and about 300 special vests fitted with SIM cards and Bluetooth were sneaked into exam halls. Seven persons, including two doctors and an MBBS student, have been arrested so far.
Students wore sophisticated listening devices in specially-made hidden vests to the exam halls.
"Why should six lakh people be asked to take up the examination all over again and we should find the number of beneficiaries.”
Bench asks CBSE not to declare the AIPMT results till verdict.