SC to take up petitions against UGC’s directive to varsities to hold final year exams after 2 days

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The Supreme Court on Thursday said petitions challenging University Grants Commission’s direction to universities to hold final year examinations by September amid the COVID-19 pandemic would be taken up for hearing after two days.

A Bench headed by Justice LN Rao – before which a petition by 31 students from 13 states and one UT seeking cancellation of final year examinations came up – said the matter would be heard by the Bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan after two days.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted a similar petition was heard and dismissed by Justice Bhushan’s Bench. Mehta was referring to National Students’ Union’s petition that was disposed of on Thursday by a Bench led by Justice Bhushan.

The students have demanded quashing of the July 6 UGC circular directing universities to hold final year examinations by September 30.

The Aditya Thackeray-led Yuva Sena – youth wing of Shiv Sena – had on Saturday moved the Supreme Court seeking cancellation of final year university examinations in view of COVID-19 pandemic.

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It highlighted the fact that IITs and governments of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Pondicherry had already cancelled final year examinations.

Centre told to fill vacancies in NGT

Another Bench of the top court on Thursday termed as “appalling” situation on the vacancy in the National Green Tribunal and directed the government to notify in 10 days all existing vacancies and anticipated vacancies in the next six months.

The Centre assured the top court that notification for filling up nine vacancies would be issued by the end of this month.

A Bench led by Justice AM Khanwilkar pointed out that at present there were about 14 vacancies – seven judicial members and seven technical members – in the NGT.

“This is an appalling situation concerning the premier institution such as National Green Tribunal, which is required to deal with environmental issues. That cannot be countenanced,” it said.

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The NGT is presently functioning with the strength of only seven judges (one chairman, three judicial members and three technical members) despite the mandate of the National Green tribunal Act to ensure that the minimum number of members shall not be less than 10.

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