In a huge relief to LLM students from Mumbai University who did not get time to prepare for their semester examinations since there was only a few days between their admission and the first semester exam, the Bombay High Court has allowed them to take the first semester exams along with the second semester exams.
The bench of Justice BR Gavai and Justice BP Colabawalla passed the order in matter where a PIL and a writ petition have been clubbed together. Both sought postponement of the semester examinations that start this Tuesday, January 23.
Out of the total 660 students currently enrolled in the LLM course at Mumbai University, 600 students secured admission in October and November last year, 41 were admitted on December 26, 2017, and the remaining 19 got admitted on January 10 this year.
It is contended in the petition that due to the OSM system and the delay caused in declaration of the results for the university's undergraduate courses last academic year, the admissions to the LLM courses got delayed.
According to the petition, under UGC Regulations 2003 and BCI norms, a minimum of 180 days of teaching period is allocated for every academic year which translates into 90 days per semester.
However, in this case, examinations were scheduled within a month of conclusion of some of the admissions. As a result, students who managed to secure their admission only this year got very little time to prepare for their examinations, the petition said.
Appearing on behalf of the University, Rui Rodrigues submitted that many students who got admitted earlier must have prepared for the examinations and hence, no stay or delay must be avoided.
The court noted that the last list of students to be admitted to the LLM course was published on January 10 and observed:
“We find that it is absolutely impossible for students who have been admitted on/about 10th January, 2018 to have prepared for the examination which is likely to commence from tomorrow. A similar difficulty would also be faced by the students who have been admitted in late December.”
Thus, the bench said in the interest of equity, students who have had a very short period after their admission to LLM should not be prejudiced.
Refusing to stay or postpone the examinations, the court said many students must have already prepared for these exams and they have not made any representation. So, it will not be in the interest of justice to pass such a blanket order.
Thus, the following order was passed:
(i) Such students who do not appear in the examination which is scheduled to commence from tomorrow, such non-appearance should not be considered as a failure to appear in the first semester examination.
(ii) Such students who opt not to appear in the examination commencing from tomorrow, would be permitted to appear for the examination of the papers of the first semester along with the papers for second semester simultaneously, and the said appearance would be treated as first appearance.
Read the Order Here