The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned the petition to cancel the Class 12 board exams of the Central Board of Secondary Education and the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education to June 3, amid the prevailing coronavirus situation, reported Live Law.

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.

The hearing was adjourned on Monday after the Attorney General told the court that the central government will take a final decision within two days. The bench said it had no problems with whatever the government decided. But added that if the decisions were different from its previous year’s notification then “good reasons” had to be given so that the court can examine it.

“We don’t want to get into nitty gritties at this stage, but there is hope on the part of petitioners that last years’ policy could be used this year. So you need to give tangible reasons,” the bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari said.

Khanwilkar said that students had “sanguine hope” that the policy adopted last year should be followed this year, according to Bar and Bench.

On May 28, the court had adjourned the plea to Monday after the court noted that the petitioner had not provided an advanced copy on the standing counsel for the CBSE.

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.

With 1,52,734 new Covid-19 infections recorded in 24 hours, India’s case count reached 2,80,47,534 on Monday. As many as 3,128 fatalities pushed the toll to 3,29,100.

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