The Delhi High Court on Wednesday has directed the Delhi University to file affidavit on a plea filed by law students seeking direction to Centre to set up adequate and effective mechanism for visually impaired and specially-abled individuals for transmission of educational instruction, teaching and material.
A two judge bench bench comprising Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad has said, “While deprecating the casual and lackadaisical manner in which University of Delhi is contesting the present petition, that too when it is not adversarial nature, last opportunity of one day is granted to it to file an affidavit.”
It further directed the university that While filing the affidavit, University of Delhi shall specifically deal with the O.M. dated 09.6.2020 issued by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, enclosing therewith copy of the minutes of the meeting dated 08.6.2020 held under the Chairmanship of the Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disability, which was attended by several Departments
The bench was hearing a petition filed by two law students from Delhi University Prateek Sharma and Diksha Singh, who have submitted that the open book online examination notification of Delhi University and the academic calendar notification/guidelines issued by UGC on 30th of April 2020 does not provide any material or guidelines on how to conduct the examinations of specially-abled students.
The petitioners have submitted that the conduct of open book examination for especially abled students is based on two important requirements, first of which is the availability of books in manner that can be accessed by especially abled students and secondly the availability of complete set of instructions on the conduct of examination which are available to other classmates.
The petitioners have further stated that the notification of the conduct of online examination by the Delhi University without providing the specially-abled students with the same education and instruction would amount to segregation and therefore institutionalizes discrimination.
On the previous hearing the bench while issuing notice had sought a detailed report from Ministry of Human Resource Development and Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
The matter has been listed for next hearing on June 26.
Read the order here;
-India Legal Bureau