As the division bench comprising Justice Sathyanarayanan and justice R Hemalatha commenced their hearing for the day, as many as 350 students had reportedly logged into the virtual court. Moreover, the students, contrary to regulations, kept their mikes unmuted and resorted to conversing with each other as ‘mama’, ‘machan’ and ‘bro’, unmindful of the proceedings in progress.
The bench, on taking strong exception to the disturbance caused by the students, walked away from the hearing that was in progress after warning them of contempt action for disturbing the proceedings. But with the students refusing to leave and continuing their conversation, the proceedings went blank. However, proceedings subsequently resumed at 12 noon after a loss of two hours, when the High Court registry intervened and removed all the students from the virtual court hearing.
Incidentally, the batch of cases listed in this regard as item No.26 failed to come up for hearing on Friday as the bench by close of court hours had heard just 21 cases. The loss of two hours in the morning session resulted in the said plea failing to reach, felt many.
The issue had gained significance after the University Grants Commission (UGC) had informed the bench on Wednesday during a related hearing that it was not in support of the Tamil Nadu Government’s decision to cancel arrear examinations of all arts and science, engineering and MCA students, except for those in the final year. Since the bench had slammed the UGC earlier for filing an evasive counter regarding the GO issued on August 26, the UGC had agreed to file an additional counter on Friday categorically stating its stand that arrear examination cannot be cancelled at any cost.
Now, the batch of pleas challenging the impugned GO and another one seeking to restrain the universities from publishing the results as per the GO is likely to come up again before the division bench in the coming week.
The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) too had informed the court earlier that the impugned GO was not in accordance with its guidelines.