December 2, 2020

CASE BRIEF: DEEPIKA V KURUKSHETRA UNIVERSITY & ANR

CITATION: [CWP 3496/2020 (O&M)]

JUDGE: SUDHIR MITTAL, CHIEF JUSTICE

DATE OF DECISION: 10-02-2020

TOPIC: EXTRACTING FEE IN THE NAME OF RE-VALUATION BY THE UNIVERSITY

FACT

Just because you failed on the university examination you cannot challenge the trustworthiness of the university administration. The failure of the student doesn’t set a parameter for the transparency and Bonafede intention of the university towards its institution. The recent judgment was given by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana dismissing the petition filed by the LL.M. student, who is also a Judicial officer (Metropolitan Magistrate-cum-Civil Judge in Delhi) and pursuing the LL.M. course (correspondence) from the Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak. she appeared in one of the semester examinations, subject Insurance law, and failed. She re-appeared for the exam and again failed. After that, she went for re-evaluation but got no positive response (marks didn’t increase) from the university administration. The argument was made by her that she could not get failed because she performed tremendously and had secured 72 marks out of 100 in the same subject in her L.L.B examination. The paper in the L.L.M examination was relatively simple and thus, the petitioner could not fail. After that, the petitioner alleged that the University was having mala-fide intention and was doing the malpractices in the name of the re-evaluation of answer sheets after exams. The petitioner also failed at the time of re-appearing for the exam and the revaluation procedure didn’t help her. The petitioner also alleged that a “racket” was going on in the University and they were doing this to extracting the money from the student in the name of the re-evaluation fee. [1] Which is against the university ethos and wrong.

ISSUE

· Whether the University in the name of the re-evaluation of the answer sheets of the examinations extracting money from the student?

· Whether the allegation made by the petitioner that “racket” is going on in the University is Valid or Not?

JUDGEMENT

On February 10th, 2020, The High Court of Punjab & Haryana passed an order that Just because someone was a meritorious student in their under graduate days doesn’t mean that she cannot fail in any exam, even that exam is related to them under the graduate subject. [2] The court held that “The fact that the petitioner was a meritorious student in L.L.B does not mean that her performance cannot fall. Admittedly, she is currently working as a Judicial Officer and thus, she may not have been able to devote adequate time to her studies. The writ Court cannot examine whether the paper was simple or difficult nor can it opine on the conduct of examiners unless the material is placed on record to substantiate the allegations. There is nothing on record to indicate any mala fide. The grievance is based upon apprehensions and thus, cannot be accepted,”. [3] The order of the high court mentioned the point that being a scholar student doesn’t decide the viability of future examinations. The Court recounted that the petitioner had failed in the subjects of Insurance Law and Law of Banking and Negotiable Instruments. On re-evaluation, she passed the subject of Law of Banking and Negotiable Instruments, but could not pass the subject of Insurance Law. You cannot guarantee that students would maintain the same threshold until his/her education period. In the present case, petitioner is judicial officer posted in Delhi there was a sufficient chance that due to which she may not have been able to dedicate ample time to her LL.M. studies. It further clarified that mere “apprehension” of malpractice was not sufficient and that cogent material was necessary to seek judicial interference. The writ Court cannot examine “whether the paper was simple or difficult nor can it opine on the conduct of examiners unless the material is placed on record to substantiate the allegations”. [4] There is nothing on record to indicate any mala fide. The grievance is based upon apprehensions and thus, cannot be accepted.

HELD

The Judgment passed by the high court is adequate and valid in every sense. The petitioner was alleging that the university was having ‘racket’ which extract money in the name of re-evaluation but didn’t give or put any evidence to prove her argument. The petitioner argument was solely based upon the soil foundation without having any receiving ends. In case, the petitioner has evidence to show that a racket is in operation in the respondent-University, she is at liberty to highlight the same through any other appropriate proceedings. In the present case, there was no evidence on record to prove the mal-practices of the university with the intention of earning money. The court has granted her liberty to initiate appropriate proceedings against the University, on the basis of cogent and convincing evidence. At last, the court held that the writ petition has no merit and was accordingly dismissed.

[1] https://indiankanoon.org/doc/84836605/

[2] https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/mere-apprehension-of-malpractice-not-sufficient-to-investigate-university-punjab-haryana-hc-read-order-153416

[3] https://www.barandbench.com/news/litigation/being-a-meritorious-student-would-not-imply-that-the-petitioner-could-not-fail-ph-hc-holds-while-dismissing-petition-filed-by-llm-student

[4] https://indiankanoon.org/doc/84836605/

Author Details: Mukesh Kumar Mishra (National Law University, Jodhpur)

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