SC asks Gorakhpur AIIMS to conduct test for students barred earlier due to lack of attendance

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New Delhi, Feb 16 (PTI) The Supreme Court Tuesday came to the rescue of eleven first year students of MBBS course, who were barred from taking up examination on account of shortage in attendance, by asking AIIMS, Gorakhpur to conduct separate test for them without insisting on “minimum attendance” for academic session 2019-20.

The students of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Gorakhpur were barred from taking up annual examination as they could not fulfill the criteria of minimum attendance in classes which were held through virtual mode during lockdown imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19.

A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat took into consideration the problems faced by students due to the pandemic situation and asked the management of the AIIMS to hold “the test without insisting on minmum attendance” .

“They shall be permitted to next year in case they clear the test,” the bench said, adding that the order will not be considered as a precedent.

The plea was filed by student Shashank Shekhar through lawyer Mathews Nedumpara and later some more similarly situated students also joined.

“The Petitioner on the declaration of lockdown had to leave the college and return to his home in Bihar like other students in the last week of March 2020, since physical lectures were called off due to lockdown,” the plea said.

A notice was displayed declaring that students, having short attendance, were not eligible to appear for their first year MBBS Examination that was to be held from October 01, 2020, the plea said.

The plea said the state is under Constitutional obligations to accommodate students during “extraordinary and testing times” and “do away with stricter compliance of attendance that is meant to be observed during normal circumstances”. PTI SJK RKS RKS