On 10th August 2020, the hearing for petitions challenging UGC guidelines took place. The three-judge bench comprising of Justice MR Shah, R Subhash Reddy, and Justice Bhushan in its last hearing asked Delhi and Maharashtra to file their replies and UGC to make its actions apparent.
Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava appearing for 31 students said the primary question is about the Constitutionality of the released UGC guidelines. Maharashtra and Delhi were asked to file a reply in the court but the concern is not about the replies from the states but the legitimacy of UGC guidelines.
While Tushar Mehta who is appearing for UGC said replies by the Delhi and Maharashtra government are arbitrary to the released UGC guidelines. He added that UGC is responsible for bestowing degrees to students then how come states can cancel the exams on their own and expect UGC to provide degrees to the students. SG Tushar Mehta further sought time to file a reply on the affidavits submitted by Maharashtra and Delhi. The court has asked SG to submit a reply by tomorrow I.e., Tuesday.
Justice Mr. Shah when asked about the overriding impact of disaster management act on UGC guidelines, the advocate Shyam Divan appearing for Aaditya Thackeray requested the counsels to be unmuted by court officials. Abhishek Manu appearing for a final year law student replied that they have not muted themselves. He added that the matter will be dissolved even before providing them an opportunity to speak.
Degrees Will Not Be Granted Without Exams
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta (UGC representative) said that students must continue to prepare for the exams because if the exams are not conducted the students will not be granted degrees. He added that no degrees will be provided to final year students without exams as this is what the law suggests. He added that sooner the case is solved, the better it will be for the final year students.
SC to Hear the Case on August 14
Supreme Court has withheld the case for the next hearing. SG Mehta has been asked to file a reply to the affidavits filed by Delhi and Maharashtra. Furthermore, Mehta has also been asked to state whether the disaster management act overruled the UGC guidelines.
Anubha Shrivastav, the chief of India wide Parents Association said that once again SG has been granted time to file a reply over affidavit submitted by Delhi and Maharashtra. She added that they are least concerned about the final year students’ predicament which should have been the main focus which is however being ignored. She asserted her unhappiness by the way states and UGC are delaying the matter.