Delhi High Court slams CBSE for ‘anti-student attitude’, treating ‘students as enemies’

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A bench made the observation while hearing a plea moved by the Board challenging a single judge order, which said the CBSE’s reassessment scheme for students whose board exams got cancelled due to COVID-19 would apply to improvement candidates also

The Delhi High Court on Monday rapped the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) for its “anti-student attitude”, saying it was “treating students as enemies” by dragging them all the way to the Supreme Court in certain matters.

A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan made the observation while hearing a plea moved by the Board challenging a single judge order, which said the CBSE’s reassessment scheme for students whose board exams got cancelled due to COVID-19 would apply to improvement candidates also.

“We don’t like this anti-student attitude of the CBSE. You are dragging students all the way to the Supreme Court. Should they be studying or going to court? We should start imposing costs on the CBSE.

“They are treating students as enemies,” the bench added.

The bench further said that if the scheme applies to all improvement students, “what is the harm in it?”

The single-judge had held on August 14 that the scheme approved by the Supreme Court for assessing students due to cancellation of the CBSE exams in light of COVID-19 will also apply to students who appeared for improvement examinations as they are equal victims of the pandemic.

“There is no earthshaking emergency for you to come to court now all guns blazing,” the bench said, adding that the CBSE should have gone to the apex court for a clarification, instead of dragging students to court.

The single judge had said that like regular students, those who appeared for improvement exams would also be entitled to avail the scores as per the assessment scheme or appear for the optional examination whenever it is held by the CBSE.

The August 14 order had come on a plea by a student who appeared in the CBSE class 12 exams held in February-March last year and secured 95.25 per cent.

Thereafter, to improve his score, he dropped one year and decided to reappear in Accountancy, English Core, Economics and Business Studies for an improvement examination this year.

While other exams were held as per schedule, the Business Studies exam, which was slated for March 24, was cancelled due to the lockdown announced on account of COVID-29.

The student, Sanyam Gupta, sought that his result for the improvement examinations ought to be declared and in respect of the cancelled paper of Business Studies, he should be treated at par with the regular students for whom an assessment scheme was approved by the apex court.

The high court directed the CBSE to issue a corrected marksheet to the student.

After implementing the August 14 order and issuing a corrected marksheet to Gupta who, thereafter, got admitted in a Delhi University college on the basis of the same, the CBSE has now challenged the single judge’s decision.

Taking note of the facts and circumstances, the bench said, “The impugned order has been implemented. The child has taken admission. Why should we upset the applecart now?”

When the CBSE counsel said that the improvement candidates were getting more chances under the reassessment scheme as compared to regular students, the bench said it should have brought this to the attention of the apex court when the scheme was being approved.

The high court, nevertheless, issued a notice to the student and sought his reply to the CBSE’s plea.

“We will put you to an exam now,” the bench said to the CBSE and listed the matter for hearing on February 5, 2021.

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