Criticising the recent decision taken by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to remove moderation or grace mark for students, Delhi High Court told the board that this move will have adverse repercussions on the future of the students. Emphasising on the fact that no one has the right to "play with the lives and future of the children", the Delhi High Court said that it should retain the moderation policy this year since the class 10 and 12 board exam results are scheduled to be out within a few days.

Stating their judgement clearly, a bench comprising Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Pratibha M Singh said, "rules can't be changed after the game has begun" and directed the CBSE to continue with grace mark or moderation policy. The bench further said, "We are deeply concerned at the manner in which a change of policy has happened, which may completely change the academic future of students from Delhi. Speaking on the conditional offers many class 12 students have received from foreign universities, the becnh further noted, "some may have taken loans, mortgaged property . It will be such a tragedy if their conditional offer from universities abroad gets revoked because of this change in your policy because their offer is based on a certain fixed manner of evaluation. It would cause grave and irreparable financial loss to the children."

Many students would have taken loans to study abroad, which depends on the marks they get. CBSE should have been responsible enough to inform the students about the revised moderation policy before the exams started. Changing the policy at the fag end of everything is unfair, said Delhi High Court.

Under the moderation policy, grace marks are given to students who have answered difficult questions in exams or for erronous question papers. The court also said that the students who had taken the exams should have been notified about the changes that the board is planning to make. Questioning the timing of the decision, the bench said, "These children, who have worked so hard and have burnt the midnight oil, are entitled to some stability and the only stability they know is the system. Do not instill insecurity in them. Don't do it (withdrawal of the policy) this year."

The HC's remarks came while hearing a petition by an effected parent and a lawyer challenging the board's decision to withdraw the moderation policy. Senior advocate Balbir Singh, appearing for petitioner Rakesh Kumar argued in defence of the moderation system and said that most of the states in India have declared the Class 10 and 12 exam results. The marks reflecting on their sheets are without the benefits of the moderation policy. 

Solicitor General Sanjay Jain who was representing CBSE argued that students should not be expecting extra marks for nothing. Moreover, the board decided to remove the policy to address the issue of spiking marks every year. The court was also told that the proposal was made on April 24 and approval was obtained on May 4. The fresh policy was circulated by May 10. 

To this, the HC said that the board should have at least informed the students by May 10. It also noted that even April 24 was too late for the proposal since most of the exams were over and that evaluation of some of the subjects had already started. The court further said that the petitioners have made out a prima facie case to show that "grave and irreparable" losses would be incurred if no interim protection is granted. 

[Read: Class 12, 2017 results unlikely to be out today]