The Online Open Book Examinations (OBEs) began for the final year students of the Delhi University on the 10th of August 2020. In line with that, a letter patent appeal has been filed by the Delhi University before the Delhi High Court against certain guidelines issued by a single judge regarding the incessant monitoring of online OBEs, and the creation of a committee under the aegis of a retired High Court Judge among many others.
A letter patent appeal is the kind of appeal that a petitioner makes against a decision of a single judge to another bench of the same court. This option is viable to the petitioner in court against the decision of a single judge of a high court.
The order against which the appeal has been made was passed by a Single Judge Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh after hearing a petition by the students against OBE. The appeals will now be presented before a Division Bench of the High Court this week.
Advocate Akash Sinha, the student’s counsel, posted this new development on Twitter in order to inform the students.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) made strict guidelines that made it mandatory for educational institutions to conduct a “time-bound” examination for final year students. On the other hand, the counsel defending the students made and argument that the OBE was violating the basic fundamental rights under Articles 14, 16, and 21 of the Indian Constitution.
However, considering the extensive measures that the University had taken to implement OBE, the Court found it befitting to conduct the exams, but with a few modifications. Thus, the Delhi High Court ordered a few suggestions for the same which were to be followed by the University on a compulsory basis. These suggestions included the simultaneous evaluation of answer sheets, increasing the time limit to write the examination for regular and PwD students, and creating a grievance committee under the aegis of retired Justice Pratibha Rani among others.