The BCI resolution dated 1st November 2020 has allowed Law Colleges/Universities to conduct physical exams after the pandemic is averted. The colleges will have to obtain a ‘No Objection Certificate’ for the same from the respective State Governments and State Disaster Management Authorities.
For law students, the following points from the BCI resolution are relevant:
- If a Law College/University is conducting offline exams during the pandemic and an enrolled student is unable or unwilling to appear for such offline exam due to COVID concerns, such student will be able to give the exam within one month of physical re-opening of the University/College after the pandemic is averted.
- If a Law College/University is conducting online exams during the pandemic and an enrolled student is unable or unwilling to appear for such online exam due to technical difficulties or otherwise, such student will be able to give the exam within one month of physical re-opening of the University/College after the pandemic is averted.
- If a student has appeared for any online or offline exam conducted by the Law College/University during the pandemic and has been unable to clear such an online or offline exam, the student will be able to give the exam within one month of physical re-opening of the University/College after the pandemic is averted.
The BCI Resolution in this regard states –
Accordingly, Council, hereby modifies BCI’s Resolution/Circular/Press Release dated 27.05.2020, 09.06.2020, and 05.10.2020 to provide an option to Universities/Centres of Legal Education to conduct physical examination with the NOC of the State Government and State Disaster Management Authority, by giving the option to such law students who are unable and/or unwilling to appear in such physical exams till the Covid-19 pandemic is averted, and having appeared therein, who are/is unable to clear such exam, to appear in the re-appear exam after physical reopening of the University/Centres of Legal Education.
The BCI Resolution, further clarifying the position states-
This would leave no cause of grievance to any candidate and this recourse will reduce the anxiety of the candidates as it would provide such candidates who are averse to take the physical exam during the pandemic Covid-19, with an option to take the exam on a later date within one month of physical reopening of Law Colleges/Universities when normalcy resumes and when the pandemic situation no longer exists, and/or an option to also appear in online exams presently, if the University/Center of Legal Education is able to conduct such online examination, if they i.e. students are comfortable with it, while, if, any candidate is unable or unwilling to appear in the online exam owing to technical and/or infrastructural difficulties or otherwise, and is also averse to appear in any physical exam which may be held during the pandemic period owing to apprehension of getting infected with Covid-19, or having appeared therein is unable to pass such offline/online exam/s, they can always appear in such physical exam after the pandemic is over without being penalized or prejudiced.
The instant resolution comes in the light of a recent order passed by the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi in W. P. (C) No.8307/2020 titled as Samarth Nayar & Ors. Vs. Controller of Examinations, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University & Ors.
In this case, a few students from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University had approached the High Court seeking a direction to the college to give them an alternative for the offline exams which has been scheduled to be held by the University on 2nd November 2020. The students were unwilling to give the offline exam while the pandemic persisted.
In reply to this, the University had clarified that, “(Controller of Examinations, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University) in the said para that the Students who do not wish to take the said exams may not give the exam on 02.11.2020 without any penal consequences. Such students would be allowed to give subsequent Re-appear exams which will be held once the colleges start functioning properly”.
In view of the clarification, the Delhi High Court opined, “keeping in view the above stand of respondent No.1 and in view of the clarification that no penal consequences will follow on the petitioners, choice is left to the petitioners. If they wish to give the exam commencing on 02.11.2020 they are free to do so. If for some reason they do not feel appropriate to give the said exam they will be free to appear in the Reappear exam which will be held subsequently”.
Read the BCI resolution here: