The Supreme Court will hear a PIL seeking deferment of the Union Public Civil Service (Prelim) examination due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, that is scheduled for 4 October 2020, on 28 September 2020, Tuesday.
On 24 September 2020, Thursday, the same bench dealt with the petition filed by V G Sai Prakash seeking postponement of the UPSC (Prelim) examination 2020 due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the past few months, the SC has already handled similar kinds of pleas seeking postponement of various examinations including the CBSE board and chartered accountants, National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (UG), JEE (Main), final year college.
Likewise, the SC had allowed holding the examinations with all the safety precautions for the candidates to minimize the spread of COVID-19 infection.
Earlier in the case of final year examinations, states had decided not to hold tests and declare results based on candidates' past performances.
However, the University Grants Commission did not support the decision and said that they would not recognize degrees given to final year students without appearing in examinations.
After the ape court pronounced the verdict regarding this issue, the bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan stated that the UGC has the final authority to hold exams. Thus, states cannot grant degrees to students without final year examinations.
Despite this decision, states had the potential to postpone final year examinations beyond the 30 September 2020 deadline set by UGC owing to the health emergency under the Disaster Management Act.
On the other hand, another bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra had refused to intervene in the decision of holding NEET (UG) and JEE (Main) examinations but ensured the authorities follow proper safeguards. The SC said that the COVID-19 pandemic was a reality and we must accept it.
Six states had filed a petition together seeking review of the order and sought a stay on these two exams, although the SC had summarily dismissed the review plea.
The bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Sanjiv Khanna faced a similar issue relating to the postponement of chartered accountants' examination and refused relief.
Besides, the bench had asked the petitioner to provide an advance copy of the petition to the UPSC counsel and Union government standing counsel.
The matter was further posted for a hearing on 28 September 2020. The petitioner has put down the examination scheduled for 4 October 2020 in the wake of pandemic and natural calamities.
*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.