Delhi HC Slams DU for Withholding Information on OBE Postponement

The decision of postponement of the exam was not informed to the high court, leading to a contempt of court order.

Published01 Jul 2020, 07:36 AM IST
Education
2 min read

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday, 1 July, slammed Delhi University for "withholding material information" regarding the postponement of the online open-book examination from the court, adding that contempt proceedings should be brought against the university for misleading the court, reported The Indian Express.

WHAT HAPPENED?

Delhi University had announced that online open book examinations for final year students will begin from 1 July. Amid opposition from teachers and students, the university on Saturday, 27 June, postponed the exam for 10 days, stating the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic as the reason.

IN DETAIL

In a high court hearing on 26 June, Justice Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad, had proposed a petition to cancel or postpone the final year open book examination for differently-abled students. The court had informed the counsel representing the university that the order will be passed in the due course of the day and will be uploaded to the high court website.

The high court bench had proposed the above order under the assumption that the university is determined to hold the examinations from 1 July.

On 27 June, before the HC could upload the proposed order on the website, the university announced that the open book exams have been postponed for 10 days.

THE IMPACT

The decision regarding the postponement of the exam was not notified to high court, who was still under the impression that the university will be conducting the exams from 1 July.

“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

The high court stated that the only explanation regarding the postponement which was offered was the universities Deputy Registrar’s mother having tested positive, which was discovered by 2:20 pm on 26 June.

“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.

WHAT NEXT

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

According to a university statement, the new date sheets for all undergraduate and postgraduate courses shall be notified by the university's examination branch on 3 July and the examination will commence from 10 July.

Instructions regarding mock tests have also been notified by the university.

(With inputs from The Indian Express)

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