15 April 2023 8:47 AM GMT
The Gujarat High Court has dismissed an application seeking relief to appear for regular examinations filed by a law student who was found to be involved in misconduct and was caught cheating during the end semester examination.While giving a holistic view to the regulations on unfair practices framed by the university administration, Justice Sangeeta K Vishen held, “...if the student, is...
The Gujarat High Court has dismissed an application seeking relief to appear for regular examinations filed by a law student who was found to be involved in misconduct and was caught cheating during the end semester examination.
While giving a holistic view to the regulations on unfair practices framed by the university administration, Justice Sangeeta K Vishen held, “...if the student, is found possessing any kind of electronic devices, during the examination irrespective of whether it is used or not used, the same is termed to be a misconduct and therefore, one is not to go only by the penalty imposed but the nature of the malpractices committed by the petitioner as well. It is not in dispute that the malpractice, was committed by the petitioner and to suggest that the instant misconduct would not be covered by Regulation 5(iv), such suggestion, is difficult to be accepted.”
While appearing for his Semester VI examinations for the Family Law II paper, the petitioner, a student enrolled in B.Com. LL.B.(Hons.), realised that he had a mobile phone in his pocket, which is strictly prohibited as per the Academic Regulations. He voluntarily submitted it to the invigilator, post which he was required to fill up the unfair means form even though he had not practised any unfair means. Subsequently an order by the Examination Reforms Committee was passed whereby, the Committee recommended to impose the penalty of cancellation of the petitioner’s result of the Semester end Examination of Family Law II of Semester VI.
Subsequently, while appearing for Semester VII examinations for Law of Taxation, the petitioner was found to possess 19 printed materials (printed on both sides) with him during the examination, which is considered as unfair means. As a result, the petitioner’s results of all the papers of Semester VII were declared as cancelled.
The respondent had published an information booklet which contained Regulation 2.3 on "Academic Dishonesty at Examinations/Tests/Assignments & Punishment," specifying the nature of unfair practices and the punitive measures.
Sub-clause (iii) of Regulation 3 provides that if a student is found possessing any kind of the electronic devices including mobile phone/smart watch, except simple calculator (wherever allowed) during examination irrespective of whether it is used or not used, the nature of punitive measures provided, is cancellation of results of all examinations of the concerned courses.
The Examination Reforms Committee, in its meeting, recommended imposing punitive measures on the petitioner i.e. his results of semester end examination of Family Law II of Semester VI, to be cancelled as per Regulation 5(iv).
The petitioner argued that for invoking Regulation 5(iv) of the Guidelines the result of the student, ought to have been cancelled for all the examinations (CE/LPW/PW/TEE) of the concerned course. Whereas, in the case of the petitioner, for previous misconduct the penalty imposed was cancelling of result of semester end examination of Family Law II of Semester VI.
While agreeing with the respondent’s counsel, Senior Advocate Dhaval Dave, Justice Vishen opined that whether the Regulation 3 was invoked or not is not to be determined on the basis of the imposition of the penalty but the same has to be seen that what was the nature of unfair means of practice committed by the petitioner.
Justice Vishen further agreed that since the unfair means practised by the petitioner has remained undisputed, the respondent, has rightly invoked Regulation 5(iv), as the petitioner was found indulging in unfair practices in the examination; and the results of all the examinations of all the concerned courses of the concerned semester were cancelled.
“Therefore this Court finds that no case has been made out for any interim protection for allowing the petitioner to appear in the examination,” the bench said.
“The principle applicable to the criminal jurisprudence, cannot be made applicable to the facts of the present case inasmuch as, the Regulations framed by the institution, … are aimed at maintaining the academic discipline,” the bench added.
Reliance was placed on Director (Studies), Dr. Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management, Nutrition & Catering Technology, Chandigarh & Others v. Vaibhav Singh Chauhan reported in (2009) 1 SCC 59 wherein the respondent was found in possession of a slip containing material relevant to the examination. While allowing the appeal, the Apex Court, cautioned that there must be strict purity in the examinations of educational institutions and no sympathy or leniency should be shown to candidates who resort to unfair means in the examinations.
Case Title: Karthik Deepak Sharma Versus Director General, Nirma University R/Special Civil Application No. 3752 Of 2023
Case Citation: 2023 Livelaw (Guj) 72
Click Here To Read/Download Order