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Karnataka High Court Quashes NLSIU Order Failing HC Judge's Son For Alleged Plagiarism

Mustafa Plumber
20 Nov 2020 11:25 AM GMT
Karnataka High Court Quashes NLSIU Order Failing HC Judges Son For Alleged Plagiarism
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The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday set aside an order passed by the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), denying a law student admission to the fourth year B.A LL.B (HONS), on account of him failing in a subject. A bench of Justice Krishna S Dixit allowed the writ petition filed by Hruday P. B, son of sitting Karnataka High Court judge Justice PB Bajanthri, and directed...

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The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday set aside an order passed by the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), denying a law student admission to the fourth year B.A LL.B (HONS), on account of him failing in a subject.

A bench of Justice Krishna S Dixit allowed the writ petition filed by Hruday P. B, son of sitting Karnataka High Court judge Justice PB Bajanthri, and directed the NLSIU to assess and award marks to the petitioner's Project Work in question. The order states that the petitioner shall be allowed to keep the term by way of carryover/carry forward, disregarding the attendance shortage, if any.

The student was declared to have secured "F Grade" in Child Rights Law examination held on March 13, since he was not given any mark because of alleged 'plagiarism' of the project work in question; he was also not allowed to take Special Repeat Examination of third trimester in the third year.

The court referred to Clause 4 of Regulation III of the B.A LL.B (Hons.) Academic and Examinations Regulations of 2009 and said:

"There is absolutely no material on record to show that the subject teacher having found the evidence of plagiarism had referred the matter to the UGC Chairman in writing and had sent a written intimation to the student. The petitioner came to know of the alleged plagiarism only after enquiry with the Registry of the University when his exam result was not announced; this act of the University constitutes a grave error apparent on the face of the record."

It added :

"The entire episode of so called 'plagiarism' is framed on the basis of a few notoriously cryptic mails exchanged between the Course Teacher and the Exam Department, detrimentally keeping the petitioner in darkness."

The court turned down the contention of the University that the petitioner in his mail dated 02.03.2020 has admitted the offence of plagiarism.

Justice Dixit noted :

"It is a representation 'to reconsider my case' of plagiarism and not an admission. It has been a long settled position of law that a stray sentence giving the impression of admission of the guilt shall not be interpreted in isolation when the rest of the matter in the representations suggests the contra; one has to gather a holistic impression from reading the entire text and not a few sporadic sentences appearing here & there in a script."

Further, it was added "When one is dealing with the educational career of young minds like the petitioner herein; loose & lavish wording of the representations, need to be given a due discount; the respondent –University is not justified in seeking shelter under a leaking umbrella of a poor student."

The court criticized the unfair treatment meted out at the hands of a Law University. Noting that University did not afford an opportunity of personal hearing, despite his (petitioners) written request.

The bench opined:

"In Biblical literature, even God is said to have given an opportunity of hearing to Adam & Eve before punishing them for consuming the proscribed fruit, in the Eden Garden; which heavens would have fallen down, had a reasonable opportunity of personal hearing been afforded, remains as a mystery rapped in enigma; after all, procedural fairness is a constitutional mandate when the answering respondent is an instrumentality of the "State" under Article 12 of the Constitution. It is high time that this University of national repute be reminded that it is dealing with our children and not others chattel".

The court concluded by saying "Since the matter is being decided on merits after a lengthy hearing, it is not desirable to remit the same for reconsideration at the hands of the University, much water having flowed under the bridges, by now."

Case Details: HRUDAY. P B vs THE VICE CHANCELLOR, NLSIU

Case No: WRIT PETITION NO. 9395 OF 2020

Date of Order: 18TH DAY OF NOVEMBER, 2020

Coram: JUSTICE KRISHNA S.DIXIT

Appearance: Senior Advocate PROF.RAVI VARMA KUMAR, A/W

Advocate V.R. SARATHY, for petitioner

Advocate ADITYA NARAYAN, ADVOCATE FOR R1 & R2.

Click Here To Download Order

[Read Order]




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