The state did not want to do anything that would later be “heavy” on the heart, announced the top court
The Supreme Court on Friday praised the Andhra Pradesh government’s “pragmatic position” in canceling their grade 12 exams and said it would be “very tough” and “very unpredictable” to expose students to the dangers of the pandemic.
Senior attorney Dushyant Dave, who appeared for Andhra Pradesh, said the state would not do anything that would later become “heavy” on its mind, especially if no one is held accountable for Kumbh Mela and the West Bengal elections. These two events were reported as super spreaders.
When appearing at the bench at AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari, Mr. Dave said he had contacted Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy directly about the Supreme Court’s “sentiments” about the conduct of the test.
Mr. Dave said Mr. Reddy had “graciously agreed” to cancel exams across the country, as in other states.
“If the whole country is going one way, there is no point going in another direction,” added Mr. Dave.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court appealed to the Andhra Pradesh government about its insistence on conducting the test amid the pandemic. The court had warned that in the event of death, the state would have to be held accountable and even pay a fine of 1 crore as compensation. The bank had asked if the state would “try to prove it is different” by holding the test when young people’s lives were at stake.
“You could have taken that position yesterday … We were urged to say some things that could have been avoided,” Judge Khanwilkar told Mr. Dave and Attorney Mahfooz A. Nazki for the state government.
Mr Dave said the state would set up a high-level committee that would consult with experts and decide on the internal grading scheme for assessing grades for grade 12 students. The state assured the court that it would meet the deadlines set by the court. The court had ordered states to complete their respective assessment schemes within 10 days and to announce their results by July 31, in time for the University Grants Commission to be admitted to the colleges.
At the hearing, Mr. Dave also claimed that the state had already prepared everything for the exams. She had identified 24,000 places for the exams to be held. Still, the state decided to waive the precaution and bow to the court’s views.
At the end of the trial, Judge Khanwilkar said: “All’s well that ends well”.