At the beginning of the hearing, the Attorney General K.K. Venugopal submitted he had circulated a letter by the government in the matter. A bench comprising Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari told the AG, “We are happy with the Centre’s decision to cancel the board exam (CBSE and ICSE boards). But what is the objective standard principle you will apply? The criteria have not been given in the letter.”
The AG replied to the bench that the objective criteria will be determined by CBSE and sought time to place it on record before the court. The AG submitted the petition seeking cancellation of board exams may be disposed and an application could be filed in the matter. The bench replied that it will only dispose off the matter after the objective criteria is placed on record. The ICSE board counsel sought four weeks’ time to place the objective criteria on record.
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Declining to give four weeks to both CBSE and ICSE, the bench said: “If you want, you can do it overnight, but we are giving you two weeks. All interactions are happening online, do it in two weeks. You should act overnight.”
Justice Maheshwari said: “Last year they have taken the decision, why they are asking for more time.” The bench said the decision in the matter has to be taken early, as there are many students who want to take admission in foreign universities. Declining to give four weeks’ time, the bench reiterated: “it will delay, urgent decision should be taken.”
Petitioner advocate Mamta Sharma pointed out that some state boards are still going ahead with the exams. Asking the lawyer to be patient, the bench replied: “We have interest of the students in our minds, irrespective of the board. Let this be resolved first and then we will consider the other state board exams.”
The top court in its order said: “What remains is only to devise well-defined objective criteria for assessment of performance of the candidates, which decision will be taken by them within two weeks, as aforesaid. List the matter on June 17.”