Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Supreme Court issues notice to Union government against plea challenging internet shutdown to prevent students cheating

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The Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Union Government on plea challenging internet shutdowns for preventing students from cheating in exams.

A bench of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) UU Lalit ,Justice S Ravindra Bhat and Justice PS Narasimha heard the matter.

CJI UU Lalit has directed the Central government to let the court be informed about any standard protocol which exists address the issue.

The Government in its order stated that they have issued notice only to the Union of India indicate whether there are standard protocol with respect to grievance raised. The Bench wanted to see what is the protocol is when there is a bank exams or public exams.

CJI Lalit also noted that the petitioners from many other High courts including Calcutta High Courts have come up with the same prayers asking why they couldn’t seek relief from one of the High Courts itself.

The senior advocate Vrinda Grover, who represented the petitioners said that the orders on shutdown of internet are not in the public domain and it requires a lot of work to get them.

To this, the CJI said,

“This organization’s annual income is 50 to 70 lakhs so you keep filing PILs. You can ask the HC to follow the Anuradha bhasin judgment”

To this Advocate Grover replied that the State of  Rajasthan has already told the High Court that there will be no shutdown. But it was not followed, immediately after that they imposed that. Will there be a threshold….will proportionality be maintained? They can even frisk (candidates before exam).. now internet is need to access basic services also like MNREGA benefits etc this is pan-India.

CJI told the counsel that putting jammer in each examination centre is not viable option , similarly having jammers in every district examination will have cost implications.

Grover said that even the parliamentary committee has said that it cannot be done for cheating.

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