HC stays the cancellation of KTU first and third semester offline exams

Kerala High Court. File   | Photo Credit: H. Vibhu

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on July 28 permitted the APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University (KTU) to go ahead with the first and third semester examinations of B.Tech courses on offline mode,

The Bench comprising Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Shaji P. Chali passed the order while staying a single judge verdict cancelling the ongoing offline examinations.

The Bench’s order came on an appeal filed by the KTU against the single judge’s verdict.

The single judge verdict came on a writ petition filed by eight students challenging the holding of examinations in a physical mode in view of the spike in COVID-19 cases in the State. According to the petitioners, the University Grants Commission(UGC) had ordered that only final year semester examinations need be conducted offline and other semester examinations should be conducted online only.

The single judge had held that the entire exercise of holding the offline examinations was in violation of the UGC guidelines. The number of COVID-19 cases was not static and cases were increasing day by day despite seriously following the Covid-protocol. The single judge had also observed that there was no mechanism to avoid gatherings before and after the examinations which would pose a serious health issue. The conduct of offline/physical examination would entail a huge risk of transmission of the virus, the single judge added.

When the appeal came up for hearing, P.J. Elvin Peter, counsel for the University, submitted that the UGC guidelines could not be made strictly applicable to technical institutions/universities. They were applicable only to the courses in the Arts and Science Colleges. Besides, the guidelines were not mandatory but were only recommendatory in nature. He also pointed out that the AICTE had not issued any guidelines till date regarding the mode of examinations to be held for technical courses.

The appeal pointed out that a large number of students had already appeared and prepared for the exams. The prospects of a large number of students could not be put at stake at the hands of eight students who had already appeared in the physical mode examinations held earlier.

The single judge’s judgment setting aside all the examinations conducted by the University and also directing the University to conduct further examinations in the online mode would jeopardise the interest of the students, who were waiting to appear for the examinations and complete the courses.

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Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 6:00:39 PM |

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