Why the contempt proceedings should not be initiated against Delhi University and its officers who tried to mislead the court by withholding information on deferment of the online open-book exams, asked the Delhi High Court.
It is notable that the examinations for Delhi University final year students were supposed to commence from July 1 as per the proposed date sheet. Now, these exams have been deferred by another 10 days.
On June 26, which was the last day of hearing a plea that challenged the conduct of online exams, the bench of justices, Hime Kohli and Subramonium prasad was furious with the university for informing about the deferment on 26 June.
The bench of justices came to know about the same through news reports when they were about to dispose of the petition against the Delhi University that too on the basis of varsity’s statement that it was geared up to commence exams from 1 July.
DU told the court it was geared up to conduct examinations from July 1, and any change, if made, ought to have been communicated to the court.
In its defense, DU stated that this decision was taken in haste on 26 June when they got to know that Deputy Registrar’s mother had tested positive and the entire family has been quarantined, at around as late as 2:20 pm.
The bench refused to accept this defense and it said that the high court functions till 4:30 pm and it change could have been easily communicated to the court if intended.
The Delhi High Court said that if Delhi University’s stand is correct and if a family member of Deputy Registrar (Secrecy) had gone down with COVID-19 and Varsity got to know that the entire family had to be quarantined only after the matter was over, even then there was ample time for the University to communicate the change to the court on the same day and even the next morning.
The court further said that it was prima facie about the opinion that contempt proceedings must be initiated against the University and its officers for withholding material information from the court and trying to mislead the court.
The court has also sought University’s stand by issuing a notice as to why contempt of court proceedings not be initiated against it and listed the matter for hearing on July 6.
The direction should be issued to the center to set up a mechanism that proves out to be effective in transmitting educational instructions and teaching material properly for visually impaired and specially-abled persons through online mode of teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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