Top
News Updates

'Step Motherly Treatment By University' : Karnataka High Court Grants Relief To NLSIU Student Who Was Denied Promotion Citing Attendance Shortage

Mustafa Plumber
23 Dec 2020 8:18 AM GMT
Step Motherly Treatment By University : Karnataka High Court Grants Relief To NLSIU Student Who Was Denied Promotion Citing Attendance Shortage
x

The Karnataka High Court recently allowed a petition filed by a student of National Law School of India University and directed the University to forthwith promote the student to the 4th year B.A. LL.B (Hons) for the academic year 2020-21. A single bench of Justice Krishna S Dixit while allowing the petition filed by Dayan Warsi, strongly disapproved the approach of the medical...

Your free access to Live Law has expired
To read the article, get a premium account.
    Your Subscription Supports Independent Journalism
Subscription starts from
599+GST
(For 6 Months)
Premium account gives you:
  • Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.
  • Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.
Already a subscriber?
The Karnataka High Court recently allowed a petition filed by a student of National Law School of India University and directed the University to forthwith promote the student to the 4th year B.A. LL.B (Hons) for the academic year 2020-21.

A single bench of Justice Krishna S Dixit while allowing the petition filed by Dayan Warsi, strongly disapproved the approach of the medical officer of the university who refused to attest the medical records of the petitioner on the ground that petitioner's attendance being about 65%, was less than the prescribed 67%.

The Court noted that the University had condoned attendance shortage to several other students despite their attendance being shorter than the prescribed percentage.

The court also took into account the affidavit filed by the Registrar of the University admitting that in a case of one particular student condonation has been granted even when he had less than prescribed minimum of 67% attendance. Even the petitioner submitted details of several such instances with material particulars wherein condonation was accorded despite attendance being much short of the prescribed minimum.

To which, Justice Dixit said :

"As already mentioned above, in several cases the University had granted condonation of shortage of attendance under the very same Regulations; however, in the case of the petitioner, a step-motherly treatment is meted out to his detriment; this is not a happy thing to happen at the hands of the University which enjoys a great academic reputation in the country."

By way of orders issued dated 31.07.2020 & 17.08.2020 the University had denied the petitioner admission to the fourth year of B.A.LL.B(HONS.) for the academic year 2020-21. The university contended that "Academic Examination Regulations [AER] being mandatory do not admit leniency; matters like this by their very nature need to be left to the University authorities sans judicial interference; lastly, petitioner's conduct disentitles him to any relief in the writ jurisdiction."

The bench said "Denial of admission to the petitioner to the 4th year of the course is on the specific grounds that he has a shortage of attendance in two courses and he has secured 'F' Grade in Criminal Law III (3rd year, VII Semester). Respondents have invoked provisions of AER 2020 which this Court has already held to have no retrospective effect in W.P.No.11287/2020 between AAKASHDEEP SINGH Vs. NLSIU & ANOTHER, that being the position, case of the petitioner ought to have been treated under AER 2009, and not under AER 2020 wrongly; thus there is an error apparent on the face of the record, that has caused enormous prejudice to the petitioner."

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

The University had even argued that under AER 2009 which are mandatory, petitioner is not entitled to condonation of attendance shortage since he had a little less than 67% of attendance which is the minimum prescribed for seeking condonation.

Referring to Regulations: Clauses (a) & (c) of Regulation II (1) of AER 2009 the court said "There is no explicit preamble or purpose clause in these Regulations."

It added:

"One has to bear in mind that what is being construed are the 'Campus Regulations' and not the 'Cattle Trespass Act'; true it is that, law speaks through language and not music; the rules which are promulgated to regulate & discipline the young minds in educational institutions should sing justice; this happens if a purposive construction based on language, purpose and discretion, is placed on these regulations that admit a range of possibilities; they also vest some discretion since their purpose does not point to a single, unique legal meaning regardless of myriad circumstances; respondents ought to have used discretion to formulate, as objectively as possible, the purpose at the core of the legal text; however, they have been unjustifiably swayed away by the Rule of Textualism, to the prejudice of the poor student."

The court even turned down the contention advanced by the University that Regulation II (1)(c) r/w Regulation II (1)(b) of AER 2009 corresponding to Regulation III (4) r/w Regulation III (5) of AER 2020, disentitles the petitioner to seek promotion to the next academic year when he has attendance shortage in more than one course in an academic year.

The bench said:

"Much is being made out with the English words namely, 'in' employed and 'of' not employed in the text of subject Regulations or the vice versa; such a jugglery of words does not protect their impugned action; after all, law is not a slave of dictionary; it is not the case of respondents that the petitioner is a habitual defaulter or that he would have gained advantage by courting absence from the classes."

The court said :

"The contention that petitioner ought to have submitted an application seeking condonation of attendance shortage within six days of resuming the class attendance sounds unreasonable."

It added "It is not that the University was launching a Satellite within those six days and delay of a few days has prevented it from launching one; even otherwise such a contention cannot be countenanced when said requirement arose under the directory provisions of Regulations which admit a lot of discretion & leniency, by their very nature."

Following which the court allowed the petition.

Case Details: DAYAN WARSI And THE VICE CHANCELLOR, THE NATIONAL LAW SCHOOL OF INDIA UNIVERSITY,

Case No: WRIT PETITION NO.9749 OF 2020

Date of Order: 18TH DAY OF DECEMBER, 2020

Coram: JUSTICE KRISHNA S.DIXIT

Appearance: Advocate V R SARATHY for petitioner

Advocate ADITYA NARYANA, for respondents.

Click here to read/download the order

Read Order




Next Story
Share it