LL.B : Karnataka High Court Directs KSLU To Pass Law Students On 50-50 Formula; Quashes Clause For Assessment Based Entirely On Previous Semester Marks

Update: 2021-09-25 11:54 GMT

The Karnataka High Court recently quashed Clause 7 of the guidelines issued by the Karnataka State Law University by which a candidate who secures less than 40% of marks based on an aggregate percentage of total performance including theory and internal assessment of marks in the previous semester shall be considered as 'fail'. The High Court directed the University to follow its...

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The Karnataka High Court recently quashed Clause 7 of the guidelines issued by the Karnataka State Law University by which a candidate who secures less than 40% of marks based on an aggregate percentage of total performance including theory and internal assessment of marks in the previous semester shall be considered as 'fail'.

The High Court directed the University to follow its previous order issued in the case of Ritvik Balanagaraj B, in which it had directed the University to assess 1st to 4th year BA LLB students, on the basis of the internal assessments of the students to an extent of 50% and the remaining 50% of the marks on the basis of performance in the previous semester only (if available).

Justice R Devdas while allowing the petitions filed by three students said: "Having taken a holistic approach, this Court deemed it necessary to issue such directions as found in the case of Ritvik Balanagraj. B (supra). That being the position, there was no room for the respondent University to once again deliberate upon what was directed by this Court. Since there is no ambiguity in the orders passed by this Court, it does not matter whether a student who had failed in the previous semester should be declared as pass in view of the 50-50 formula directed and adopted by this Court."

It added, "Therefore, the petitioners are entitled to claim that they have been treated in contravention of the directions issued by this Court without even assessing their performance in terms of the directions issued by this Court."

The petitioners had approached the court stating that "Syndicate of the respondent-KSLU, in its meeting held on 31.03.2021, deliberated upon adopting 50-50 formula for valuation of even semester examination of June 2020 and issued certain guidelines on 31.03.2021. Clause 7 of the guidelines directs that as per KSLU Regulations, a candidate who has secured a minimum of 40% marks is considered as pass in the examination. As such, a candidate who secures less than 40% of marks based on an aggregate percentage of total performance including theory and internal assessment of marks of the previous semester's performance shall be considered as 'fail'."

Advocate Abhishek Janardhan and Advocate Prateek Chandramouli appearing for the petitioners submitted that "Following the directives in terms of Clause No.7, the petitioners previous semester examination marks have not been considered. Clause No.7 is in contravention of the directions issued by this Court."

Senior Advocate Ashok Haranahalli appearing for the University countered the petition by stating that "Before the Syndicate issued the guidelines on 31.03.2021, a Sub-Committee comprising of Law Professors and Lecturers to go into the issue and give its opinion regarding the adoption of the 50-50 formula, which was directed by this Court. The guidelines issued were on the opinion given by the Sub-Committee. Moreover, it was submitted that the decision which is reflected in Clause Nos.7 and 8 is taken as the same would be in conformity with the regulations governing the assessment of the students and awarding marks."

The court on hearing the parties said, "This court finds that on the face of it the guidelines especially clause 7, issued on 31.03.2021 is not in compliance with directions issued by this court in the order passed by this Court in the case of Ritvik Balannagraj B"

It added "Before parting with this matter, it is essential to notice that only three students have approached this Court with the grievance as stated above, while there may be several hundreds of students who are similarly placed. Therefore, the benefit given to the petitioners herein shall also ensure to all such students, who are similarly placed and the respondent-University shall extend the same benefit to all such students without waiting for such students to approach this Court."

The court quashed the impugned guideline insofar as Clause No. 7 is concerned, keeping the other guidelines intact. The University is directed to assess all such students who had written the previous semester examination, irrespective of the fact that they were declared failed in the previous semester examination. Marks cards shall accordingly be issued after assessing the students in terms of the directions given by this Court in the case of Ritvik Balanagraj. B(supra).

Case Title: E Karthik Patel And Karnataka State Law University

Case No: WP 15571/2021.

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