Mumbai: The Indian School Certificate Examination (ICSE) board on Friday told the Bombay High Court that it would be holding its standard 10th examinations in July with all safety precautions.
The Maharashtra government, on the other hand, said that holding exams now was not feasible in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni told the court that the COVID-19 situation in the state was serious and hence it would not be feasible to hold the examination for pending ICSE papers.
The central board in its affidavit, however, argued that it does not require the state government's permission to conduct the examinations.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice S S Shinde was hearing a petition filed by Arvind Tiwari challenging the ICSE's decision to hold std 10 examinations from July 2 to July 12 across Maharashtra.
Initially, the exams were scheduled between February 27 to March 30, but exams from March 19 onwards were canceled due to the COVID-19 scare.
Tiwari in his petition claimed that since the number of COVID-19 cases is still on the rise it would be appropriate to declare results based on gradation and assessment of the past performance of students in internal exams.
226 schools in Maharashtra are affiliated to ICSE. 23,347 students were scheduled to appear for the 10th standard examinations.
The board in its affidavit said that after relaxation of the lockdown, it decided to hold the pending examinations.
However, on June 3 it received a communication from the Maharashtra school education department stating that it would not be possible for the state government to grant permission for the exams.
The state government requested the ICSE board to either postpone its exams or rely on internal assessment.
The ICSE, however, was of the opinion that examinations had to be held and told the court that all safety measures would be undertaken.
If a student is unable to attend the exam because he or she is suffering from COVID-19 or a family member is suffering from it, or if he or she is residing in a containment zone, such student can appear for re-examination in September 2020, the board said.
The court posted the matter for further hearing next week.