21 Nov 2017 12:49 PM GMT
Minor delay by college in publishing list of students with short attendance can be of no significance in case of students barred from appearing in the fourth semester examination owing to their short attendance, the Delhi High Court said on Tuesday.A division bench of Justice S Ravindra Bhat and Justice Sunil Gaur dismissed the review petition filed by seven students of Deen Dayal...
Minor delay by college in publishing list of students with short attendance can be of no significance in case of students barred from appearing in the fourth semester examination owing to their short attendance, the Delhi High Court said on Tuesday.
A division bench of Justice S Ravindra Bhat and Justice Sunil Gaur dismissed the review petition filed by seven students of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College who were not allowed to take the fourth semester examination by the college principal owing to their poor attendance record.
The bench noted that the delay was minor and there was no other discrepancy in recording of attendance by the college.
The review petition came to be filed by the seven students, who were not allowed to sit for the fourth semester examination of B Com (Hons) course on May 9.
They had initially got a favourable order from single judge which came to be reversed by the Division bench on September 12.
The writ petitioners/students had approached the Supreme Court, but were allowed to withdraw the appeals after some hearing. They then came to the high court for a review of the judgment of the Division bench.
The counsel of the students contended that the division bench in its judgment ignored and did not take into account the material part of the varsity regulations (Ordinance VII(2)(e)) which mandated at least five days’ clear notice to the students, as to enable them to represent against their likely exclusion on the basis of shortage of attendance.
It was contended that classes ended on April 27 and that if the college were to legitimately exclude any student, not less than five clear days’ notice was necessary in this regard.
The college had put the list of students with short attendance on May 5 on its website, and the students argued that May 6 was a Saturday and May 7 was a Sunday and that in fact on May 7, many students were allowed to appear in the practical examinations and the admit cards were to be issued on May 8. It was on that day that the students were informed the first time that they were ineligible to appear in the theory papers due to shortage of attendance, scheduled to being on the next day, i.e. on May 9.
The college opposed the review petition saying the principal took the decision of excluding students only after taking into account their abysmal attendance record. It also contended that the plea of omission to comply with Ordinance VII (2)(e) was never taken by the students before.
The division bench, however, considered the argument since the students had succeeded before the single judge.
The bench noted, “The provision, i.e. Ordinance VII(2)(e) facially suggests that the College is under an obligation to publish the final attendance position at least five days after dispersal of classes on the last calendar day of the academic year. The classes in this case dispersed on April 27. This meant that the final attendance position should have been notified on May 2. The College informed the position of attendance on May 5”.
The question, the bench said, is whether this omission of publication of their attendance late, i.e. after five days is a vital infraction and the consequent denial a fatal omission on the part of the college and that denying them the right to participate in the examination is, therefore, vitiated.
“This Court does not agree with the argument. The lapse on the part of the College is only of three days. Were the cases of the respondents/review petitioners (students) in the present case short of attendance marginally, the omission of the kind they highlight could have been of some significance. However, their attendance record (which has been reproduced in the main body of the judgment of the Division Bench dated 12.09.2017) show that there was significant shortage in the case of each of them,” it said.
In this case, the data relied upon by the students’ counsel revealed that four of the petitioners had less than 50 per cent attendance while two had slightly over 50 per cent attendance and one of the petitioners had 61.06% attendance.
“The court is of the opinion that the above findings could in no way be different or significantly influenced by that because of the date when the publication of the attendance took place in the present case - on 05.05.2017. The late publication was by a mere three days. It is not the students’ case that in all other respects, the attendance records were inaccurately recorded in the college records,” the bench concluded.