11 July 2023 6:35 AM GMT
The Gujarat High Court has upheld Veer Narmad South Gujarat University (VNSGU)'s decision to cancel the LLB course results of a student who secured admission based on a counterfeit graduation mark sheet.The petitioner had obtained admission to VNSGU's LLB course using a Bachelor of Arts mark sheet from Shridhar University in Rajasthan. However, the VNSGU later initiated an investigation...
The Gujarat High Court has upheld Veer Narmad South Gujarat University (VNSGU)'s decision to cancel the LLB course results of a student who secured admission based on a counterfeit graduation mark sheet.
The petitioner had obtained admission to VNSGU's LLB course using a Bachelor of Arts mark sheet from Shridhar University in Rajasthan. However, the VNSGU later initiated an investigation into mark sheets and Shridhar University told it that the mark-sheets were not genuine.
During the court proceedings, the petitioner's counsel argued that the university violated Section 47 of the Veer Narmad South Gujarat University Act, which entitles the individual concerned to a hearing before any action is taken against them. The counsel contended that since no such opportunity was given to the petitioner, the court should intervene and overturn the cancellation of the petitioner's marks.
However, the counsel representing the respondent-University said that the petitioner was involved in an elaborate fraud. He informed the court that after the completion of his LLB, the petitioner applied for a license to practice law, and during the verification process conducted by the Bar Council of Gujarat, it was revealed that the petitioner's graduation mark sheets were forged; subsequently, an FIR was filed against the petitioner. Shridhar University has confirmed that the petitioner was not their student and the submitted mark sheets were not genuine, the court was told.
The counsel contended that the respondent-University, upon discovering the fraudulent act committed by the petitioner, decided to cancel the petitioner's LLB course mark sheets. The counsel argued that considering the nature of the fraud and the principle that fraud vitiates everything, the court should not grant any indulgence to the petitioner even if a chance of hearing were to be given.
Examining the case, the bench of Justice Nikhil S Kariel addressed the two main contentions raised by the petitioner's counsel.
Firstly, the court noted that the petitioner had claimed that since the respondent-University had examined his mark sheets while granting him provisional eligibility, they should not question their veracity at a later stage.
However, the court dismissed this argument, stating, “In the considered opinion of this Court, the proposition as contended by the learned Advocate to state the least is absurd. The petitioner himself was guilty of submitting fraudulent documents and whereas in case, the fraudulent documents were verified by the respondent University and treated as genuine documents, the benefit had ultimately been taken by the petitioner himself.”
Regarding the protection provided under Section 47 of the Veer Narmad South Gujarat University Act, the court agreed with the respondent's counsel that such protection applies only when a student is facing the withdrawal of their degree or diploma due to conviction for a serious offense involving moral turpitude or scandalous conduct.
“In the considered opinion of this Court, such a protection is given in order to ensure that every conviction, does not automatically resulting in a student having his degree or diploma being revoked by the University and whereas in the considered opinion of this Court, such protection envisaged in the said Section, would not take into its ambit the case of a student like the present petitioner, who had got admission in the LLB Course by perpetrating a fraud,” the court said.
The court further said the purpose of giving an opportunity of hearing would be nothing but an empty formality in the case, more particularly when the Shridhar University has already informed the respondent University about the fraudulent nature of the mark-sheets submitted by the petitioner.
Case Title: Mehul Sureshkumar Champaneria Versus Veer Narmad South Gujarat University Through The Secretary
Appearance: For The Petitioner(S) No. 1 Mr Nk Majmudar(430) For The Petitioner(S) No. 1 Bhagirath N Patel(9016) For The Respondent(S) No. 1
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