NDPS Act | Kerala High Court Sets Aside LLB Student's Show Cause Notice, Says College Had Decided His Guilt While Trial Was Still Ongoing
The Kerala High Court recently set aside a show cause notice issued to a final year LLB student of MG University for being named as an accused in an NDPS Case.The student who was suspended when an FIR had been lodged against him in the aforesaid case, was asked to show cause as to why a compulsory transfer certificate should not be issued to him. In allowing the student's plea for setting...
The Kerala High Court recently set aside a show cause notice issued to a final year LLB student of MG University for being named as an accused in an NDPS Case.
The student who was suspended when an FIR had been lodged against him in the aforesaid case, was asked to show cause as to why a compulsory transfer certificate should not be issued to him.
In allowing the student's plea for setting aside the impugned show cause notice, Justice T.R. Ravi observed that the impugned notice would show that the college had already concluded that the student was guilty of possession and sale of narcotic drugs when the trial was not even completed.
It further noted that the student had already been released on bail in the matter and that it was too early for the college to come to a conclusion regarding his involvement in the offence, merely based on the registration of an FIR. The Bench held:
“It would appear from Ext.P7 [show-cause notice] that it has already been concluded that the petitioner was in possession of narcotic drugs and he was involved in sale of the same. It is too early to come to such a conclusion as the trial is not completed and the petitioner is released on bail. In the above circumstances, the petitioner is entitled to succeed.”
The Counsel for the petitioners, Advocate Advocates Varun C. Vijay and Divya Chandran relied upon the decision in Ashely Varghese and Another v State of Kerala (2007) and the Bombay High Court decision in Adwait Amrish Goel v Mukesh Patel School of Technology and Another (2017) to contend that mere registration of an FIR would not lead to the conclusion that the student had committed an offence which would lead to his dismissal from the college.
On the other hand, the Counsel for the respondents, P M Saneer and Surin George Ipe submitted that the college had issued the show cause notice and taken action against the student only upon finding that he had committed a very serious offence under the NDPS Act.
The Court also took into consideration the report filed by the Board of Adjudication of Students Grievances (BASG), which submitted that a final year student could not be indefinitely kept out of college till the criminal case was concluded.
It noted that the college had issued the impugned show cause notice without considering the report of the BASG.
Accordingly, the Court set aside the show cause notice and directed the college to hear the student and consider his application for re-admission afresh, based on the decisions of the Court in Ashely Varghese (supra) and Adwait Amrish Goel (supra).
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Ker) 703
Case title: Jeevan Ramesh v Mahatma Gandhi University
Case number: WP(C) NO. 21610 OF 2023