The Islamabad High Court (IHC) dismissed a writ petition demanding the suspension of in-person A and O level exams as non-maintainable.
Chief Justice Athar Minallah announced the decision after hearing the petitioners’ lawyer’s arguments.
The court directed the petitioners to go to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) to get their complaint heard.
“This court has already held that the decisions of the National Command and Operation Centre are binding and not justiciable by a judicial forum,” read the four-page long verdict.
“The grievance raised by the petitioners relates to the policy of the Federal Government in the context of dealing with the crisis of Covid-19. This court, therefore, is not the competent forum nor has the expertise to direct the respondents regarding what mode should be adopted relating to the assessment of students.”
Justice Minallah said that courts can’t interfere in policy matters.
“We can’t interfere in the NCOC’s policy decisions on the coronavirus,” he observed, noting the Government of Pakistan couldn’t issue any instructions to Cambridge as the former only facilitates the exams in the country.
“Do you want the court to restrain the government from taking exams?” the chief justice asked the petitioners’ counsel.
“There is no such a thing in his petition that is not the policy of Cambridge,” the lawyer replied. “My petition is not against Cambridge that gave two options. Saudi Arabia, Thailand and India opted for physical exams.”
The court noted that the appeal was only submitted by nine students. According to Justice Minallah, the nine petitioners cannot represent the thousands of other students who may choose to take the physical exams.
It should be mentioned here that Sindh High Court has also been hearing the same petition.