The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently upheld the decision of the Institute of Law, Kurukshetra University debarring a law student booked under section 307 IPC (attempt to murder) from appearing in the theory examination of the 10th Semester [BA LLB (Honours) course].
The bench of Justice Sudhir Mittal observed that since Clause 4 of the University Ordinance does not provide for condonation of shortage of attendance on account of being in judicial custody, therefore, the Court dismissed the plea filed by the student.
Essentially, the petitioner (Armaan Singh) is a student in the 10th semester of the BA LLB (Honours) course being conducted by the Institute of Law, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra.
An FIR was registered in February 2022 against him under Sections 148, 149, 323, 325, 307, 506, 120-B IPC and he was arrested on March 05, 2022. While in custody, he was permitted to take the viva/practical examination from, April 27, 2022 to April 29, 2022 and May 10, 2022.
Thereafter, he applied for permission to appear in the theory examination which was granted, however, the Institute debarred him from taking the said examination on account of the shortage of lectures.
Thus, the petitioner moved the Court seeking permission to take the theory examination scheduled from May 20, 2022, to June 15, 2022. He contended before the Court that the shortage in lectures was on account of reasons beyond the control of the petitioner and thus, he should have been permitted to take the theory examination.
It was further submitted the Dean of the University or the Principal of the College have been given the power to allow a student to take the examination if he has attended 65% of the classes. Thus, for this reason, also, the petitioner sought relief.
On the other hand, the counsel for the respondent university submitted that the petitioner has attended only 43% of the lectures and thus he was debarred from taking the exam and therefore, the writ petition deserved to be dismissed.
Finding justification in the decision of the university administration to debar the petitioner from taking the exam, the Court observed thus:
"...Clause 4 of the University Ordinance does not provide for condonation of shortage of attendance on account of being in judicial custody. Shortage can be condoned provided the same is on account of participation in Sports Events, Youth Festivals, University Level Debates, NCC Camps, attendance of Mountaineering Courses, Voluntary Donation of Blood, attendance of All India Moot Court/Debate competitions and attendance of extension lecture(s) organized by the National Institute of Law/Department of Law. Thus, the first respondent was justified in issuing a communication dated 20.05.2022."
In this regard, the Court also referred to the case of Gaurav Dahiya (minor) through his father vs. Central Board of School Education, Delhi and others, wherein the High Court was dealing with the case of a student who was tried by the Juvenile Justice Board on account of registration of an FIR.
Though he was acquitted, he was not permitted to take the Class-X examination on account of a shortage of attendance. Dismissing his writ petition, the High Court had taken into account Rule 14 of the Examination Bye-Laws framed by the Central Board of Secondary Education wherein being confined in judicial custody was not mentioned as one of the grounds for condoning shortage of attendance.
Consequently, the instant writ petition was dismissed
Case title - Armaan Singh .v. Director, Institute of Law, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra and others