Bombay HC refuses to interfere with final-year University of Mumbai exams
The Bombay high court on Saturday refused to interfere with the schedule of the online final year examinations of BA, BCom, BSc, and Bachelor of Mass Media courses at the University of Mumbai (MU) from October 1.
A bench of chief justice Dipankar Datta and justice Girish Kulkarni, however, allowed two petitioners to make a representation to MU vice chancellor for their prayer of postponing the examinations to give enough time to students to prepare for them.
The petitioners, Sachin Manwadkar, 43, who is pursuing BA, and Dilip Randive, 53, enrolled for a three-year LLB course, had moved the court seeking a direction to MU to grant at least a month to students to prepare.
In support of their demand, the two cited a June 2019 circular issued by MU that mandated colleges to declare examination timetables at least one month in advance.
Advocate Rui Rodrigues, who represented MU, pointed out the circular was applicable to examinations held in physical mode of the first and second years of degree courses. The circular lays down the entire examination schedule for colleges, Rodrigues said.
Rodrigues submitted the circular was not applicable to final year examinations. Besides, this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the examinations are being held online and will have only multiple-choice questions.
He pointed out regular examinations for the last-year students are scheduled from October 1. The examinations for backlog subjects have started from Friday.
The petitioners’ lawyer, advocate Sharon Patole, insisted the university should give proper time to the students to prepare. She said this year, not just the mode, but also the format of the examination has changed and even professors have not been given adequate time to prepare question papers.
“Future of the students is at stake; they need time to prepare.”
The court refused any relief pointing out that in academic matters, the scope of judicial interference is narrow. “Withdraw the petition and make a representation to the vice-chancellor,” the court said. “If you insist decision on merit that will damage your cause.”
Patole agreed to make the representation. The vice-chancellor has been asked to decide on the matter before the examinations begin.