Day Adventists :Kerala HC allows separate exam timefor Christian sect
KOCHI: In a controversial decision, the Kerala high court on Friday asked the state government to fix a separate time for two students of the Seventh Day Adventists, a Christian sect, to write their SSLC exam scheduled for Saturday.
The HC decision came on a petition filed by the students who pleaded that giving exams on Saturday would violate their religious rights as the day is usually set apart for prayers.
Allowing the petition, Justice Thottathil Raveendran asked the government to hold the exam for these students only after 6 pm on Saturday.
The court also perused a 1961 order of the state government which specifies that important exams need not be held on Saturdays. If it was inevitable to hold the exam on Saturday, the order provided for fixing the time after 6 pm.
The state government opposed the plea saying it was impossible to make separate arrangements for the exams. It would also lead to a leakage of the question paper as majority of the students would already have given the exams in the morning, the state maintained.
The state rushed an appeal which was heard in a special sitting of the HC in the evening. But the division bench while refusing to reverse the single bench order, however, asked the students to present themselves in the school at 1.30 pm — when the exams are scheduled to start – and wait there till 6 pm and give their paper.