Division bench of Justice AA Sayed and Justice SP Tavade of Bombay HC heard the PIL filed by Samarvir Singh, who sought directions to the students against BCI Guidelines On Intermediate Year Exams noting that there was a stark contradiction between UGC and BCI guidelines. Court also issued notice to the State Bar council.
Contentions in the Petition against BCI Guidelines On Intermediate Year Exams
In an affidavit dated October 9, the petitioner contends-
“On May 22, the University of Mumbai in consonance with the UGC guidelines dated April 29, issued guidelines to promote the students of intermediate year on the basis of previous performance. Acting upon such guidelines of the University of Mumbai many colleges have published results of the intermediate year students on the basis of previous performance.
I state and submit that the Bar Council of India guidelines dated May 27 and June 9 directing the colleges to conduct the examination of the students of the intermediate year within a month of re-opening of the colleges are in stark contradiction to the UGC guidelines. While the UGC guidelines grant liberty to the Universities to assess local situation and resources and then decide to either conduct intermediate year examinations or to assess such students on the basis of previous performance, the BCI guidelines mandate the Universities to conduct such examinations within a month of reopening of colleges. Since the Hon’ble Supreme Court has upheld the UGC guidelines, the above states BCI guidelines ought to be quashed.”
Petitioner has cited Supreme Court’s judgment in Praneeth K & Ors Vs University Grants Commission & Ors., In the said judgment, apex court had noted-
“The differentiation made by revised guidelines to hold Final year/Terminal semester examination has a rational basis and there is an intelligible differentia between the student of Final year/Terminal semester and other students. We thus reject the challenge on the ground that there is any hostile discrimination between the students of Final year/Terminal semester and other students.”
The petitioner also contended that conducting online exams would not be viable for students as the number of cases of Covid-19 in the State are still on the rise as per BCI Guidelines On Intermediate Year Exams.
Court’s Order in plea against BCI Guidelines On Intermediate Year Exams
Finally, the Court noted-
“Leave is granted to the Petitioner, who is appearing in person, to make Bar Council of Maharashtra & Goa as party-Respondent. Amendment to be carried out within a week. Issue notice to the newly added Respondent, returnable on 12 November 2020.”
Thus, the matter against BCI Guidelines On Intermediate Year Exams will now be heard on November 12, 2020.