Madras HC orders interim stay on ‘all pass’ for arrear students by two TN universities

The order came on a batch of petitions filed against the state government’s order cancelling arrear exams for students who have already paid the fees this year.
Students writing exams
Students writing exams
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The Madras High Court on Tuesday granted an interim stay on the ‘all pass’ results of arrear students published by two Tamil Nadu universities without conducting exams. The universities had published the results based on an order by the Tamil Nadu government which stated that all arrear students will be declared ‘pass’ without having to write the exams due to the pandemic.

A bench consisting of Justice M Sathyanarayanan and R Hemalatha ruled that the state government cannot declare the exam results without conducting online or offline exams for these students. The court was hearing a batch of petitions, including that of former Vice Chancellor of Anna University E Balagurusamy and an advocate Ramkumar Adhithan, opposing the order of the state government cancelling arrear exams.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) had responded that the state government’s decision to cancel the arrear exams was against the guidelines issued by them. Meanwhile, the state government said that the universities had the right to cancel arrear exams and that the decision was taken considering the welfare of the students. One of the petitioners had also filed another plea against the universities that had published results of arrear students declaring them ‘pass’ without conducting exams.

The court, during the hearing on Tuesday, questioned how the universities – University of Madras and Manonmaniam Sundaranar University – could publish the results of arrear students when the matter is sub judice. The judges also questioned the state government’s authority in compelling universities to cancel the arrear exams and said that the universities can conduct exams now through online or offline modes. The government of Tamil Nadu had announced that students who have arrears, except those in their final terms, will be declared pass automatically if they had paid fees to write the exams this year.

The judges also condemned the unauthorised entry of students and others during a couple of hearings on this case earlier and warned that contempt proceedings would be initiated against the miscreants. To avoid this from happening again, the court posted the next hearing in person on January 11.

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