The Supreme Court on Friday adjourned to May 31 a petition seeking cancellation of Class 12 examinations of the Central Board of Secondary Education and the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education, reported Live Law.

A vacation bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari was hearing a public interest litigation, which was filed by advocate Mamta Sharma. The hearing was adjourned after the court noted that the petitioner has not provided an advanced copy on the standing counsel for the CBSE. The case will be taken up around 11 am on May 31.

During the brief hearing, Maheshwari noted that the CBSE will take a decision on June 1. “Please be optimistic,” the bench said, reported Bar and Bench. “There may be some resolution by Monday.”

The plea has contended that the exams should be cancelled and a methodology should be devised to declare the results within a deadline. It also said that the CBSE and ICSE notifications on postponement of the tests should be quashed as students cannot be subjected to uncertainty amid a public health crisis such as Covid-19.

“As far as the innocent students of Class12 are concerned, a step-motherly, arbitrary, inhuman direction has been issued to postpone their final examination for an unspecified duration, instead of following the directions propounded and accepted by them last year,” the plea read.

On May 23, a meeting between the Centre and all states and Union Territories failed to arrive at a decision on when to hold the Class 12 board examinations.

Last year, the Supreme Court had asked the two boards to ascertain and declare the results of Class 12 students on the basis of earlier assessments. The petitioner contended that the same method could be used this year.

In view of the prevailing coronavirus situation, almost all state education boards have postponed their Class 12 examinations. Similarly, various professional course entrance examinations such as Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) Main and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (Postgraduate) were also postponed.

The second wave of Covid-19 has also caused severe adverse effects among a younger crowd as new mutant strains emerged during the past few months. This has also taken a toll on normal functioning of the education system in the country as several states have had to cancel exams and shut educational institutions due to an unprecedented rise in infections.

As authorities try to figure out how to conduct board exams, states have called for them to either be cancelled or to prioritise vaccinations for this population.

India’s healthcare infrastructure, which is tackling a surge of Covid-19 cases amid the second wave of the pandemic, has been in shambles as the demand for medical facilities exceeds the supplies.

The country reported 1,86,364 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours, taking the overall tally to 2,75,55,457 since the pandemic first broke out in January 2020. The toll rose by 3,660 to 31,88,95, while the active caseload stood at 23,43,152.

Follow today’s updates on the Covid-19 crisis here