New Delhi: The Delhi University has been asked by the High Court that why should the court not start contempt proceedings against it and the officers of the University. The University and the officers withheld information regarding the deferment of the online exams. They have misled the court.
The online open-book exams which were supposed to begin from July 1, have been postponed for the next 10 days by the University.
June 26 was the last date of hearing the plea which challenged the decision of Delhi University to conduct online exams. The bench of Justices which comprised Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad was furious as the University did not inform the court on June 26 about the deferment of the exams.
The bench of Justices said that they came to know about this decision taken by the University on June 27, through news reports. This news came to them while they were in the middle of dictating an order which dismissed the petition. This petition was being dismissed based on the statement of DU, in which it said that it was all set to conduct the exams from July 1.
The court said that once the Delhi University has said that it is all geared up to conduct the exams from July 1, then any changes whatsoever in the schedule must be informed to the Court by the University.
In its defense, the Delhi University has said that it came into their knowledge around 2.20 pm on June 26 that the mother of the Deputy Registrar (secrecy) has been tested positive for COVID-19. Therefore, the entire family had to be quarantined. After this decision for postponing online exams were taken.
The Bench declined to accept the defense. It said that the court is in operation till 4.30 pm. The University had enough time to inform the court about the recent development.
The Court said that if the stand of respondent No.4/Delhi University is true, then the officials had the knowledge of the entire family of Deputy Registrar (secrecy) going into quarantine at around 2.20. The University had enough time at hand to revert to the Court on the same day or even the next morning and inform. But this did not happen.
The Court said that they are prima facie of the opinion that contempt proceedings should be started against Delhi University and its officials. They misled the court by withdrawing material information.
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The matter has been listed for hearing by the High Court on July 6. The court has also issued a notice to the University and has asked for its stand on the beginning of contempt of court proceedings against it.
The petition filed in the Delhi High Court had also asked for directions to be issued to the Center to set up an effective mechanism for the specially-abled and visually impaired students. This should be done so that educational institutions can transmit them properly. This will also help in providing study material to such students through the online mode during the COVID-19 pandemic.