Bombay HC pulls up Maha for load shedding at HSC, SSC Exam centres

 The Bombay High Court has pulled up Maharashtra government for its apathy towards students due to load-shedding at Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination centres in schools across the state.

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has pulled up Maharashtra government for its apathy towards students due to load-shedding at Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination centres in schools across the state.

"Why is there no load-shedding during festivals?. Why power failures at HSC and SSC examination centres? said a bench of Justices Abhay Oka and A S Chandurkar.

"It is the essential duty of the state to ensure that electricity is provided at the examination centres," observed the Judges yesterday while hearing a contempt petition filed by activist Vishnu Gawli.

The petition alleged that the state government had not implemented earlier court orders in 2008 of providing uninterrupted power supply to schools which conduct HSC and SSC examinations.

In July, the High Court had asked the state to provide generators, inverters and solar systems on a war-footing to schools as students have to write answer papers during examinations in darkness due to load shedding in the state.

Gawli, arguing in person, informed the judges that till date the government has not taken any steps to ensure that such provisions are made for students, especially during the examinations.

In 2008, Gawli had written a letter to the HC, which was converted into a suo moto PIL, highlighting that lakhs of students were forced to take their examinations in darkness due to load shedding.

On February 27, 2009, the High Court had directed the government to ensure supply of around 40,000 generators to schools conducting the examinations. In addition, the court had asked the Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) to ensure that there is no load shedding at the time of examinations.

The Court had also asked the authorities -- Maharashtra government, Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC), MSEB and Education Department -? to hold a meeting and find a solution to difficulties faced by students while writing examinations during load shedding.

Adjourning the matter to next week, the bench yesterday asked the state Education Board to submit a list of HSC and SSC examination centres where there is no power supply or load shedding.