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HC Considering Contempt Proceedings Against DU For Withholding Info on Deferment of Online Exam

By Manthan Pandit      02 July, 2020 05:41 PM      0 Comments
HC Considering Contempt Proceedings Against DU For Withholding Info on Deferment of Online Exam

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday, 1st July 2020, slammed Delhi University for "retaining material details" regarding the court's postponement of the online open-book test, adding that a contempt action should be brought against the university for misleading the court, sources said.

Delhi University has announced that it will launch online open-book exams for final year students from 1st July 2020. Amid opposition from teachers and students, the university postponed the exam for 10 days on Saturday, 27th June 2020, citing the reason for the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.

Justice Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad had submitted a petition in a high court hearing on 26th June 2020, to cancel or postpone the final year open book review for students of different abilities. The court had told the university counsel that the order would be passed in due course of the day and posted to the web site of the high court.

The high court bench had suggested the above order, suggesting the university was prepared to hold the exams from 1st July 2020. 

On 27th June 2020, the university reported that the open book exams had been postponed for 10 days until the HC could upload the proposed order to the website.

The decision concerning the postponement of the examination was not informed to the high court, which was still under the impression that the university would conduct the exams from 1st July 2020.

“This came as a surprise to us, when just a day before, DU had shown its complete preparedness for conducting the OBE w.e.f 1 July.”Delhi High Court said in a statement.

The high court claimed that the only reason given for the postponement was the mother of the Deputy Registrar's universities having checked positively, which was discovered on 26th June 2020, at 2:20 pm.

“We may note that the high court functions up to 04:30 pm… there was enough time for DU to have reverted to this court on the same day or at least the next morning and apprise us of the said developments and the decision taken to defer the examinations by 10 days,” the HC said responding to the reason offered.

In view of the universities’ conduct in withholding information from the court, the court is prima facie of the opinion that contempt proceedings should be initiated against the university.

The high court has given a notice to the University of Delhi and the Dean of Examinations, Vinay Gupta, to which they will respond within three days.

The new date sheets for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses will be informed by the review branch of the university on 3rd July 2020, according to a university release, and the review will begin from 10th July 2020.

The plea concerned, moved by two law students Prateek Sharma and Diksha Singh, said that universities, schools, colleges, and other educational institutions have engaged in online teachings amid COVID-19 outbreak, however, no efforts have been made by the government to consider the need of the visually impaired and specially-abled individuals.

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