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Supreme Court adjourns pleas of 18 students against CBSE for not implementing dispute resolution scheme as proposed in August 2021

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday adjourned a batch of petitions filed by 18 students, stating that certain CBSE-affiliated schools and CBSE authorities have failed to implement the procedure of dispute resolution mechanism prescribed in an August 2021 circular, which was issued under directions of the Apex Court.

A division bench of Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice C.T. Ravi Kumar granted the petitioners a week’s time to file a counter-affidavit. Due to the outbreak of second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, Class XII board examinations for academic session 2020-2021 across the country got cancelled for the first time. The CBSE and CISCE devised a formula to evaluate pupils, whereby CBSE proposed to employ a 30:30:40 formula, borrowing 30 per cent of the assessment from Class 10, 30 per cent from Class 11 and 40 per cent from Class 12 to tabulate an average and the CISCE proposed to take the average of the results of the past six years.

A division bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari had approved these formulas in W.P.(C) no. 522 of 2021, Mamta Sharma V. CBSE &Ors. The petitioners had approached the Supreme Court as they are aggrieved by their school’s failure to assess their results as per the 30:30:40 formula and that the CBSE has not adequately redressed their grievance.

Advocate Rupesh Kumar, appearing on behalf of CBSE, submitted that the grievance of the petitioners is that the performance of students should be taken in account without taking the  performance of the school. Kumar submitted that the petitioners have failed to understand the scheme and stated the chart prepared by the petitioners is based on the wrong reading of the scheme.

He added petitioners have only taken 1 component of evaluation into account, i.e: 30:30:40 formula, whereas the evaluation policy also takes the historical performance of the school, subject-wise mean, overall school average and moderation criteria, for which a special software has been developed by CBSE.

Advocate Pradeep Gupta, appearing for the petitioner, sought time to file a counter-affidavit.

The Petition has sought:

  1. Directions to CBSE the Respondents to adopt the well-recognized procedure for”Dispute Resolution Mechanism”prescribed in accordance with the directions of Supreme Court of India vide order dated June 17, 2021, in W.P.(C) no. 522 of 2021, MamtaSharma V. CBSE&Ors.
  2. Direction to CBSE to pass a detailed/ reasoned order to decide the representation dated August 11, 2021, made by Bright International School, Ring Road Circle, Nana Chiloda, Gandhinagar, Gujarat 382355, raising concerns in calculation of marks of the petitioner.
  3. Directions to CBSE to declare the result of petitioner students on the basis of 30:30:40 formula devised vide notification dated June 17, 2021 and by considering the actual marks obtained them, without penalizing them for previous year unsatisfactory performance of Bright International School

On October 8, the court had granted time to Advocate Rupesh Kumar, appearing for CBSE, to file response on or before October 18. The matter was listed for further hearing on October 20. 

The issue before the Supreme Court is that whether the respondents are duty bound to decide the cases raised through the proper channel of Dispute Resolution Mechanism by passing a reasoned/speaking order or not, further submitting, students cannot be penalised for the non-compliance of the Dispute Resolution Mechanism of the School.

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