The Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved judgment on a batch of petitions challenging the July 6 directive of the University Grants Commission (UGC) to the Universities to hold final semester examinations by September 30.
A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah reserved the judgment after hearing the parties for nearly four hours via video conferencing.
On Tuesday, the bench heard Senior Advocate Arvind P Datar (for State of Maharashtra), Senior Advocate Jaideep Gupta (for teachers from West Bengal), Senior Advocate K V Vishwanathan (for Government of NCT of Delhi), Advocate Generals for Odisha and West Bengal, Senior Advocate Meenakshi Arora for intervenors, Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava etc.
The Court also heard Solicitor General Tushar Mehta for the University Grants Commission.
The SG submitted that the UGC had the power to issue the guidelines and that they have a mandatory, statutory force as they are issued under the UGC Act.
Under the Act, the Central authority does have the supremacy to decide, he submitted.
SG also submitted that Universities can seek for the deadline to be pushed, however, they cannot take the decision to confer degrees without holding exams.
During the hearing, the bench asked the Solicitor General whether the UGC can override a state where a certain situation is existing to direct the holding of exams.
The bench asked SG Mehta, “if there is a certain situation in a State, can the UGC override the State and mandate for the exams to still be held? How can that happen?”
While reserving judgment, the bench asked the parties to submit their written submissions within 3 days.
The Court started detailed hearing in the matter on August 14, when it heard Senior Advocates Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Senior Advocate Shyam Divan for the petitioners.
Complete updates from today’s hearing may be read here.
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