The Bombay High Court recently granted relief to five final year law students and directed Mumbai University along with the Controller of Examinations to release their marksheets and passing certificates after determining the legitimacy of their records, so that they are allowed to appear for the All India Bar Exam held on September 15, Sunday.
A division bench of Justice SC Dharmadhikari and Justice GS Patel asked the University to take a prima facie view regarding the genuineness and correctness of all relevant documents submitted by the petitioners.
The petitioners, Siddharth Ingle, Prajakta Shetye, Onkar Gawade, Shweta Desai and Amit Mishra are studying at St.Wilfred's College of Law, Panvel, Mumbai. They contended in a writ petition that the University has still not completed the formalities of issuing necessary mark-sheets and passing certificates, which would enable them to appear for the All India Bar Examination scheduled on September 15, so as to then qualify for a licence to practice as an advocate.
Further, petitioners submitted that they have annexed the hall tickets and mark-sheets for the three-year degree course issued by the University.
The hearing took place on September 11, the same day examinations for this academic year got over.
Senior Advocate Mihir Desai appeared on behalf of the respondents Controller of Examinations, the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa, law college and Admission Regulatory Authority. While Gauraj Shah along with Gaurav Ingale appeared on behalf of the petitioners.
The Bar Council insists on the production of certain documents and then alone they would permit the petitioners to appear and take the examination.
Respondents conceded before the court that these students were enrolled by the said law college, however the University and Controller of Examinations have not been able to firm up the case simply because the Admission Regulatory Authority had not verified and scrutinized the documents and held them to be legal.
Court noted how it would be difficult for the said authority to complete the entire process within such a short span of time and observed-
"All that can be done is, without prejudice to the rights and contentions of these contesting respondents, we can direct the University as also the Controller of Examinations to verify the correctness and genuineness of the documents listed at Exhibit 'D' to this petition and from its own records, conclude whether the admissions were granted, the examinations were taken and the examinations have been indeed cleared by these petitioners. Should any additional documents be required from the college, respondent nos. 1 and 2 should call for them, but it must take a call and determine the matter by 13th September, 2019 positively."
The bench also noted –
"The University can take a tentative and prima facie view subject, of-course, to its legal rights and release the necessary documents so that the petitioners can take the examinations to be held under the auspices of the fourth respondent."
Click here to download the Order