When Maha govt has cancelled SSC exams, should we step in? HC

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Mumbai, Jun 1 (PTI) The Bombay High Court on Tuesday said when the Maharashtra government has decided that the situation in the state vis-a-vis the COVID-19 pandemic was not conducive to hold Class 10 board exams, would it be right for the court to step in and direct otherwise.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni made the 'prima facie observation' while hearing a public interest litigation filed by Pune-based professor Dhananjay Kulkarni, challenging the April 19 decision of the state government to cancel the Class 10 (SSC) board exams in the state due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.

The bench on Tuesday directed Kulkarni's advocate Uday Warunjikar to amend the petition so as to also challenge the subsequent order passed by the government, devising a formula on how to evaluate the students.

'We are, however, making our prima facie observation that while there are certain decisions of the state government that maynot be fair, but we are aware of how much we (the court) can extend our powers,' the court said.

'If the state government is saying that the condition is not conducive for holding examinations, then can we (court) step in and say no, it is conducive, so hold the exams?' Chief Justice Datta said.

The bench noted that the second wave of the COVID-19 was worse than the first wave the state witnessed last year.

'Coronavirus is targeting young people this year...

children are getting affected,' Chief Justice Datta said.

The court posted the matter for further hearing on June 3.

On Monday, the Maharashtra government, in its affidavit filed in response to the petition, said the decision to cancel the SSC exams was taken keeping in mind the safety of students, parents, teachers and those involved in the 'mammoth' exercise of conducting the exams. PTI SP BNM GK GK

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