CAT 2020 Re-Test Can’t Be Ordered Merely Because Petitioner Missed It Due To COVID19 : Kerala High Court

first_imgNews UpdatesCAT 2020 Re-Test Can’t Be Ordered Merely Because Petitioner Missed It Due To COVID19 : Kerala High Court Nupur Thapliyal7 Jan 2021 6:12 AMShare This – xA Single Judge Bench of the Kerela High Court comprising of Justice P.B. Suresh Kumar refused to grant relief to a candidate who could not appear for the Common Admission Test 2020 after being positive for Covid-19. The exam was scheduled to take place on 29.11.2020 however, the petitioner was found positive two days before the date of examination. As the petitioner could not appear for…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginA Single Judge Bench of the Kerela High Court comprising of Justice P.B. Suresh Kumar refused to grant relief to a candidate who could not appear for the Common Admission Test 2020 after being positive for Covid-19. The exam was scheduled to take place on 29.11.2020 however, the petitioner was found positive two days before the date of examination. As the petitioner could not appear for the respective examination, a petition was filed in the Kerela HC seeking directions on the Union of India, State of Kerela and Directors of IIMs to schedule a retest of the exam for the candidates who could not appear for the examination due to Covid-19 pandemic. BACKGROUND OF THE PETITION The petitioner is a candidate who had applied for Common Admission Test 2020, a qualifying examination for admissions into various courses conducted by IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management) across the Country. The exam for the year 2020 was scheduled to take place on 29.11.2020. The grievance of the petitioner was that due to the reason of his mother getting positive for Covid-19 on 22.11.2020, he could not appear for the said examination as he had to undergo the mandatory quarantine period as advised by the Health Service Department of State of Kerela. Later it was found that even the petitioner was found to be positive for Covid-19 on 27.11.2020. When the fact of her mother getting positive came to his notice, the petitioner wrote an email to the competent authority conducting examination to let him know the particulars of the protocol to be followed by him in order to sit for the examination. A reply was received by the authority that he could appear for the exam as he was not identified as the potential carrier of the virus. After the petitioner was also found positive for the virus, the requested the authority by mail to let him know about the protocol to which there was no response received. Therefore, he couldn’t sit for the examination on the date of exam. According to the petitioner, it was obligatory on the part of the competent authority to make necessary arrangements to enable him and other similarly placed candidates to appear for the test even after being covid positive. It was also the argument of the petitioner the authority is bound to conduct another session of test for the covid positive students for them to secure admissions in IIMs. Therefore, the prayer of the petitioner was to seek directions to the respondents to conduct another session of CAT 2020 examination for the candidates who could not appear on the date of exam due to the reason of being positive for Covid-19. ISSUES OF THE CASE Whether it was obligatory for the competent authority to make necessary arrangements to enable the petitioner and other similarly placed candidates to appear for the test?(2) Whether the petitioner is entitled to a direction to the respondents concerned to conduct an additional session of the test? OBSERVATION OF THE COURT Argument of the Petitioner The petitioner heavily relied on the case of Rakesh Kumar Agarwalla & Ors. v. NLSIU,Bengaluru & Ors. (2020) where an interim order was passed by the Supreme Court directing the competent authority of the university to provide facilities for candidates who were in isolation in the wake of covid-19 pandemic allowing such students to appear for CLAT 2020. The petitioner therefore submitted that the inaction on the part of competent authority for not making any appropriate arrangements for the petitioner in the present case was unfair and arbitrary. Due to this reason, the authority is obligated to conduct another session of exam. Argument of the Respondents It was argued by the counsel appearing on behalf of the competent authority that in view of the peculiar and serious situation created by Covid-19 pandemic, it was impossible for the authorities to conduct another session for the same exam again. It was also argued that a considerable amount of time will be required by the authority to prepare question papers for another session and that it would not be possible for the authorities to now normalize the score of such candidates. The counsel for the Union of India submitted that a same relief was prayed by candidates in JEE Examinations 2020 wherein the Delhi HC vide judgment W.P.(C)No.7444 of 2020 declined to give them the relief for conducting the examination again for covid positive candidates. On this, the Court had asked the Union of India about the stand of the Central Govt about people suffering from covid to remain in isolation. The reply accorded by the counsel was that alternative arrangements have not been made for now to enable such candidates to appear for the examinations. Order of the Court The Court while analyzing the submissions made on behalf of the competent authority observed that there was no reason to doubt the correctness of the reasons given for the non conduct of examination via a second session. “Even if it is found that it was obligatory for the competent authority to make necessary arrangements to enable the petitioner and other similarly placed candidates to appear for the test, the relief claimed by the petitioner cannot be granted.” The court held. The Court also took note of the fact that nearly 1.9 lakh candidates appeared for the test conducted on 29.11.2020 and finally held that: “Merely for the reason that the petitioner could not participate in the test on account of reasons not attributable to him, according to me, this court would not be justified in ordering the test to be conducted afresh, as for conducting the test afresh, a new set of question papers are to be prepared, and as noted, the same will take considerable time in addition to the efforts to be put in by large number of persons and even if such a course is adopted, the courses cannot be conducted by the institutes as scheduled by them now, which would adversely affect the career prospects of large number of candidates who have appeared for the test.” Case Name: Susruth K. v. Union of India & Ors. W.P. CIVIL No. 27637 of 2020 Judgment Dated: 07.01.2021Click Here To Download Judgment[Read Judgment]Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more

Interview: Appalachian Political Strategist David “Mudcat” Saunders

first_imgHe’s been called the progressive path to Bubba. David “Mudcat” Saunders is an outspoken, foul-mouthed, unapologetic redneck from Roanoke, Va., who has managed to become rural Appalachia’s key liaison to Democratic candidates. Providing a reminder that Democrats like God and guns too, his work has contributed to changing the South’s political landscape from predominantly red to a new shade of purple. He helped put high-profile candidates Mark Warner and Jim Webb in office in his home state. Right now he is spreading the message that Barack Obama offers the best path to economic equality in the South. Saunders chatted with BRO before a bow-shooting session at his home in the Roanoke Valley.———-BRO: You originally supported John Edwards. Why?DS: Edwards’ message was ‘Let’s screw those who screwed us.’ We need to enforce anti-trust laws and level the playing field on trade treaties. Let’s bring American jobs home.BRO: Can Obama swing key states like Virginia and North Carolina?DS: Absolutely. Obama can get through to rural culture, but he has to prove to these people that he’s going to work for their best interests. In Virginia, [former governor] Mark Warner opened a lot of doors. He’s the only Democratic candidate in the last 25 years to get a majority of rural votes on a state-wide ballot. He got through to the culture, and made it okay for people to say they’re Democrats again.BRO: How much is race an issue in the South?DS: I don’t think Obama’s race is a big deal. Anybody who would vote against him because of the color of his skin is either 1) not registered to vote, or 2) someone the Republicans already have. Doug Wilder, the United States’ first African-American governor, got 48 percent of the most rural districts in Virginia 20 years ago. If Obama gets just 40 percent of it, he’ll win Virginia.BRO: What is the most important issue on the minds of rural Appalachian folk?DS: You can come down here and talk about change, but we’re predominantly a Scotch-Irish culture, and we’ve been hearing about change since the 1700s when the British kicked us out. Every time we talk about helping working people, the Republicans talk about the redistribution of wealth like we’re communists. If I were Obama, I would welcome the argument of wealth distribution. Economic disparity is the worst it’s been since Teddy Roosevelt took office.BRO: Are people in Appalachia starting to care about being marginalized by mountaintop removal mining?DS: Mountaintop removal is an uphill battle. People are more worried about jobs. They told us with NAFTA that the technological revolution was going to create new jobs. Well it did, but they outsourced them all to India. Nobody hates mountaintop removal more than I do, but people are more worried about short-term concerns like how they’re going to eat.BRO: Are green collar and alternative energy jobs appealing to Appalachians?DS: Anything that will feed us down in the sticks is appealing. That’s what it’s all about. When I was a kid, there were red spruce all over these mountains. You can’t find one now. Our brook trout streams are all but gone. I’m an outdoorsman, and I hate coal-fired generators. But long-term health is a tough argument, because right now people are more concerned about putting food on the table.last_img read more

Miami lawyer heads up ATLA’s 9-11 Attorneys Task Force

first_imgMiami lawyer heads up ATLA’s 9-11 Attorneys Task Force Miami lawyer heads up ATLA’s 9-11 Attorneys Task Force Associate EditorMiami lawyer Larry Scott Stewart is launching a monumental project by the Association of Trial Lawyers of America to provide free legal services to the families of thousands of victims of the terrorist attacks who choose to receive compensation through an expedited federal fund. “As an association, we all felt the grief and the horrible consequences that these people were confronted with. We wanted to step up and do something for them in a small way to help the families of victims through this terrible time,” said Stewart, past president of ATLA in 1994-95 who has been named chair of the ATLA 9-11 Attorneys Task Force. “We are literally looking at the potential of representing 6,000 families, each with their own story to tell, each one with their own grief and their own problems. It’s not a small task to set this up,” Stewart said. The huge project is a lot like setting up a brand new law office in New York: renting space and equipment, hiring support staff, and rallying enough volunteer lawyers from around the country to take on potentially thousands of clients. ATLA, which is setting up a finance committee to raise money for office expenses, will be working with the New York Trial Lawyers. “I don’t think any of us have come to grips yet with the enormity of what it will take to handle these claims,” Stewart said two days after learning of his new role that coincided with a bill passed by Congress September 21. “It will be an extraordinary emotional process. Every time you turn on the news media, you see another story. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, everywhere you look it does get worse. There’s another story and another story and another story. Each victim has their own story to be told. That’s what this will be all about.” To make the endeavor even more daunting is a 90-day deadline set by Congress to have regulations in place to begin the enormous compensation effort. While the federal government hustled to bail out the ravaged airline industry, with both an infusion of cash to cover losses and immunity from lawsuits, ATLA spoke up about compensating the lost lives and injured victims of the horrific tragedy. “We said, ‘Look, if you are going to give relief to the airlines, which they certainly deserve, there ought to be an equal commitment by the U.S. government to the victims. And the commitment should be in the amount and magnitude of not less than what it has done for the airlines,’” said Stewart. With that encouragement from ATLA, U.S. Congress passed a bill, called the September 11th Compensation Act of 2001, creating an administrative Victims’ Compensation Fund to pay the claims of all victims – in the air and on the ground – of the attacks at three crash sites, including rescue workers. Though it was not part of the deal with Congress, ATLA offered pro bono legal services to any family choosing to pursue justice through the fund, which has no discrete amount, and will be administered by a special master. The fund will compensate – with full economic and non-economic compensatory damages – “any individual (or relative of a deceased individual) who was physically injured or killed as a result of the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of September 11, 2001,” who opts into the program. Claimants do not have to prove negligence or any other theory of liability. If they choose not to participate in the fund, victims may still pursue traditional remedies through the civil justice system. “At least 7,000 families are hurting more than any of us can imagine. And, because the first priority of every American should be prompt and full justice for the thousands of families who know firsthand the unspeakable horror visited upon the world on September 11, 2001, members of ATLA will provide free legal services to any family wishing to pursue justice through the fund established by this unprecedented, humanitarian legislation,” ATLA President Leo V. Boyle said in a September 21 letter sent to the members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. “ATLA believes that 100 percent of the compensation from the fund should go directly to the families. The officers and Executive Committee of ATLA have volunteered to be the first attorneys to provide legal services free of charge under this program,” Boyle continued. And that’s where Stewart’s assignment comes in. “This is as big as any class-action lawsuit there has been in the United States up to this time,” Stewart said. “And in many ways, this is bigger, because there is a discrete amount of money in class actions and it’s a matter of divvying it up. In this, proof will have to be brought forward.” Stewart declined to speculate on what a ball-park figure families of victims could expect to be compensated. The federal fund deadlines are tight: From the date a claim is filed, lawyers will be required to finish a claim in 120 days. And 20 days after that, the special master has to certify claim for payment. “We’re looking at getting money in the hands of the families very quickly. By the beginning of the year, the money will be flowing to the families of the victims, unlike in litigation where it’s tied up for years and years. This is one of the things we insisted on: Get the money to the families. They need it,” Stewart said. And lawyers – who typically get one-third of damages – won’t make a dime on this pro bono project. “For years and years, people we sue have been doing everything to demonize us, and through enormous propaganda have painted us as interested only in money, greed and self-interest,” Stewart said. “I really think, at the end of the day, when we look back on this, they will say this is the finest hour for trial lawyers in this country.” For more information on ATLA’s pro bono program, visit its web site at October 15, 2001 Jan Pudlow Associate Editor Regular Newslast_img read more

Bale could play against City – AVB

first_img Bale has been out of action since Basle’s David Degen stood on his right ankle 15 days ago, causing ligament damage. The fact that his ankle was bent almost at a right angle to his leg raised fears that the 23-year-old star would not play again this season. An initial diagnosis of three weeks on the sidelines seemed optimistic at the time, but Bale has been training with the Spurs squad for the last two days and the in-form forward now looks set to be fit for this weekend’s game at White Hart Lane. And the Spurs boss said: “I am pretty confident (Bale will be fit).” He added: “He’s made good progress from the beginning of the week to be training with the team so I think he will (be) definitely up for selection.” Bale has scored 27 goals for club and country this term, earning him a place on the PFA Player of the Year shortlist. The Welshman was hindered by injury for part of last season, and also missed some of this campaign with a hamstring complaint, but the Portuguese denied recalling the player so soon would cause more damage to Bale’s ankle. “No I don’t think so,” the 35-year-old said. Villas-Boas reported further good news from the treatment room regarding Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe. Lennon also limped out of the first leg of the Europa League quarter-final defeat to Basle with a knee injury and Defoe has missed the last two games with a pelvis complaint, but Villas-Boas was optimistic about their chances of playing on Sunday against the reigning Premier League champions. “There has been a good recovery from Defoe so he’s trained with the team all week,” said Villas-Boas, who is without Sandro, Younes Kaboul and William Gallas for Sunday’s game. “Lennon has been recovering progressively. He hasn’t trained with the team yet so there is one more training session to go. All of them are in with a chance of making the selection.” Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas insists he has no qualms about throwing Gareth Bale in to his team for Sunday’s huge clash with Manchester City.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more