The Bombay High Court recently refused to grant any relief to a final year law student from Govind Ramnath Kare College of Law with low attendance.
A bench of Justice NM Jamdar and Justice Prithviraj K Chavan was hearing the writ petition filed by the student himself.
According to the petitioner, right before the sixth-semester examinations, students are required to obtain an attendance note from their class mentors and then the examination forms are submitted. However, his class mentor Ruby Luis informed him that he was falling short on attendance and that he had to meet the principal.
The principal denied the petitioner from appearing in the final year exams. The petitioner contended that this was due to the principal’s personal prejudice against him and he was not given certain exemptions for attending an athletic meet on behalf of the college and participating in legal aid activities.
According to the petitioner, he had the following attendance as displayed on the college website: Labour Law II- 45.68% (without addition of medical leave and sport exemption), Criminal Procedure Code-87.65% and Intellectual Property Rights-85.19%.
However, the college and other respondents argued that the petitioner had conveniently left out certain details. According to them, unlike what the petitioner admits, the athletic meet lasted from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, as it was a full day event but the petitioner student’s involvement in the said event did not last as long.
It was also argued that the attendance displayed on the college website was part of a trial run and these figures are incorrect, petitioner’s actual attendance was much lower. The petitioner did not have the required 75% attendance as per Goa University, nor the 70% total attendance as required by the Bar Council of India.
The court had granted interim relief to the petitioner student by allowing him to appear in the examinations for the time being in an order dated April 19, 2018. But the said order was subject to certain conditions.
Now, the petitioner’s advocate argued that according to an ordinance of the Goa University, the lecturer is required to maintain a course-wise attendance register which he did not, thus injustice was being done to the petitioner.
The court refused to accept this contention and said-
“We cannot accept the arguments of the Petitioner. Firstly, the Bar Council of India Rules mandates that a student must have 70% attendance. The responsibility of being vigilant is on the student. Even if his own contention as averred in the petition coupled with the documents tendered on record are taken cumulatively, it would show that the Petitioner has failed to meet the minimum required attendance of 70% as per Rule 12 of the Rules of Legal Education, 2008. Respondent no.4 has taken a clear stand that the Rules of Bar Council of India would prevail over its Ordinance. That being so, there is absolutely no scope for the Petitioner to rely upon the Ordinance of the University.”
Thus, the court found that there was no need to invoke its writ jurisdiction in order to grant any relief to the petitioner and the petition was dismissed.