1 Dec 2021 11:15 AM GMT
The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday refused to modify its order dated November 24, by which it had permitted Karnataka State Law University (KSLU) to hold the intermediate semester examination for LLB students. However, the results of the examinations shall be subject to further orders of the court. A division bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Sachin Shankar...
The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday refused to modify its order dated November 24, by which it had permitted Karnataka State Law University (KSLU) to hold the intermediate semester examination for LLB students. However, the results of the examinations shall be subject to further orders of the court.
A division bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum while refusing relief to the students orally said,
"No right with a student to say, do not hold exams."
Further it orally observed, "You want to become a lawyer without appearing for any examination. You become a judge of the High Court, because for a judge no exam is required."
In its order the court noted,
"We do not find any reason to vacate the interim order dated November 24. The University shall hold the examination in accordance with law and as per prescribed procedure. It is needless to observe that we had already provided in our order that the result of the examination will be subject to further orders."
The High Court had allowed the conducting of examination while hearing an intra-court appeal filed by the University, challenging the interim order passed on November 12, whereby the Single Judge had stayed the circular for conducting exams from November 15.
Thereafter, the students had approached the court by filing applications stating that the intra-court appeal is not maintainable as the same has been filed against an interim order and that the writ petition itself is pending.
Further, it was argued that the University may file its statement of objections and application for vacating of the interim order before the single judge. It was also submitted that a direction be issued to the single judge to decide the petition on merit and the parties may be heard finally; in the meantime, the appellant shall not conduct the university exam.
The applications were opposed by the University and the Bar Council of India.
Advocate Shridhar Prabhu appearing for the BCI said, "The stand of the BCI is very clear that they cannot recognize any degree without holding an examination. It is for the University to hold the examination. BCI will recognize only those degrees issued by universities on the basis of university examination."
Following which the court disposed of the applications and noted,
"So far as request of counsel for respondents that the writ court be directed to decide the petition finally. The counsel for respondent shall move application before the writ court for early disposal of writ petition and writ court may consider the request."
The petitioners Rishab Trakraoo and others had approached the single judge bench stating that KSLU's decision to conduct intermediate semester exams is not only contrary to the government order but also violative of the UGC circular dated 16th July 2021, extending the examination guidelines issued last year amid Covid-19, to this academic year as well. As per the UGC circular, only the terminal semester/final year examinations were to be compulsorily conducted in off-line (pen and paper)/online/blended (online + offline) mode.
The petitioner had also relied on an order passed by the High Court in in the case of Ritvik Balanagraj v. Bar Council Of India & Others, directing the Universities that so far as even Semester examinations are concerned, the same shall be assessed on the basis of the internal assessments of the students to an extent of 50% and the remaining 50% of the marks on the basis of performance in the previous semester only (if available).
It was further contended that the decision of KSLU in conducting examinations for the students part of intermediate semesters, caused great distress and risk to the lives of the students.
In its appeal before the Division Bench, the University had contended that, the circular dated 23.07.2021 issued by the Government of Karnataka dispensing with the examination for the II and IV semesters in three year degree courses), was not applicable to the appellant-University and the appellant-University had to conduct the examinations as per the direction issued by the Bar Council of India (BCI)."
Following which the bench headed by the Chief Justice had noted, "We find some force in the argument that Sections 9 and 10 of the Karnataka State Law University Act, 2009 would not apply in the present controversy as it would come within the power of the appellant-University to conduct the annual examinations."
It added, "Prima facie, we find that the students of the colleges governed by the appellant-University are altogether on different footing with that of students of the colleges governed by the other State Universities. The question of discrimination can be only amongst the equals."