Delhi High Court has refused to provide relief to a student who was denied her results for cheating during the examination.
While refusing to interfere with the order of the Delhi University, the Single Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh highlighted that:
'Copying and cheating in examinations is like the Plague. It is a pandemic which can ruin society and the educational system of any country. If the same is left unchecked or if leniency is shown, the same can have a deleterious effect. For any country's progress, the integrity of the educational system has to be infallible. Whether it is paper setters maintaining utmost confidentiality, students not cheating, invigilators being vigilant, examiners doing their job with utmost alacrity knowing that the future of students is in their hands, Universities and colleges not tampering with results - the conduct of all stakeholders has to reflect commitment and also be unblemished.'
In the present writ petition, the Petitioner, who's a student of Economics Honours at Daulat Ram College, had challenged the order of the Delhi University by which the examination of the Petitioner for the entire Semester has been cancelled.
Submissions Made By The Petitioner
The Petitioner submitted that she inadvertently carried the notes she had prepared for her revision in the examination hall as the same were kept in her stationery pouch and she had forgotten to take them out.
Half an hour into the commencement of the examination, the Petitioner pleads that she realised that the placards were in her pouch, and she herself voluntarily called the invigilator and gave the same to the invigilator. Despite this, the invigilator accused her of cheating.
Submissions Made by Delhi University
While informing the court that the Petitioner had signed the undertaking of good conduct, the University submitted that the Petitioner did not disclose the fact to the invigilator that she has carried notes to the examination hall.
It was further submitted that an independent expert from Aurobindo College had compared the answer sheets along with the notes which were seized and had come to the conclusion that the material was used by the candidate in answering the paper.
The Counselling Committee, after interacting and counselling the Petitioner, had arrived at a conclusion that she was liable to be proceeded with as per 'Part C' of the 'Instructions', whereas since she apologized, the Committee recommended that she be proceeded under 'Part B'.
Observations of the Court
The court observed the fact that the Petitioner did not submit various documents/emails that she had signed before the University wherein she had admitted to the fact that she took the notes with her to the examination hall.
The court further noted that it is clear from a perusal of the invigilator's report that the Petitioner had kept the notes below her answer scripts, and that she had a total of 15 minutes to cheat.
The court also took into consideration the counseling performa which confirms that the Petitioner has received counselling on the demerits of adopting unfair means, and that she would not adopt any unfair means in examination in future.
While noting that the Petitioner had tried to mislead the court, it was observed that:
'By these `Instructions' all candidates were made aware of the consequences of resorting to unfair means. In any event, resorting to unfair means in examinations is downright impermissible and ought not to be encouraged at any cost. The Petitioner was no exception. After appearing before the Counselling committee and after receiving their counselling, she apologised, leading to imposition of a lesser punishment by the University –i.e., instead of punishment under 'Part C', she was proceeded under 'Part B'.'
Therefore, the court refused to interfere with the order of the University.
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