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Om Prakash Bajpai vs Guru Ghasidas University And Ors. on 22 April, 1989

Madhya Pradesh High Court
Om Prakash Bajpai vs Guru Ghasidas University And Ors. on 22 April, 1989
Equivalent citations: 1990 (0) MPLJ 85
Author: Y Suryavanshi
Bench: B Varma, Y Suryavanshi


ORDER

Y.B. Suryavanshi, J.

1. The petitioner, a practising Advocate at Bilaspur, enrolled as an Advocate by the M. P. State Bar Council on 31-3-1986, has filed this petition under Articles 226/227, Constitution of India, praying (i) to quash the Notification dated 25-1-1986 (Annexure-B) of respondent- No. 1 Guru Ghasidas University, Bilaspur (for short, called Bilaspur University) imposing the punishment of cancelling his Examination of LL.B. Final 1985, and further debarring him from appearing at Supplementary Examination of 1985 and the main examination of 1986 (ii) The petitioner has also challenged the Resolution Item No. 8 in the Agenda of the Executive Council of Ravi Shanker University, Raipur (for short, called Raipur University) rejecting the Explanation/appeal by the petitioner and further Resolution cancelling his LL.B. Final Examination (Supplementary Examination) 1985, withdrawal of LL.B. Degree and communication thereof to M. P. State Bar Council (Respondent No. 3), which would result in cancellation of his enrolment as an Advocate. (This is impugned Annexure-F dt. 25-11-1988). The orders passed in this petition (M.P. No. 4115/88) would also govern the disposal of M.C.C. No. 587/88 which is a review/petition against the orders dated 14-10-1988 passed in M. P. No. 3005/88 against the show cause notice issued by Raipur University for cancellation of the Examination of LL.B. Part III and withdrawal of the Degree, which was dismissed summarily.

2. According to the petitioner, the academic bio-data for the decision of the petition is: that, he passed annual LL.B. Part I Examination in 1982 from Raipur University, and thereafter, cleared LL.B. Part II Supplementary Examination in the year 1982, also from Raipur University; that, he “unsuccessfully appeared” in LL.B. Part III Examination of 1983 and Supplementary Examination of 1983 from Raipur University; that, Bilaspur was earlier within the jurisdiction of Raipur University, but in the year 1984, Bilaspur University was carved out from Raipur University; and according to the petitioner, the erstwhile students of Raipur University were eligible to appear in Bilaspur University in the year 1984; that he appeared in annual examination of 1985 LL.B. Part III; but his result of the Annual Examination 1985 was “withheld” by Bilaspur University; that, the Bilaspur University (respondent No. 1) did not serve any show cause notice originally in the Annual Examination 1985; that, he had made an application for appearance in 1985 Supplementary Examination of Raipur University – as an Ex-student, and in the application form (sample pro forma Annexure-G), in Col. 8, he frankly disclosed the fact that he had appeared in Bilaspur University Annual Examination of 1985 and also mentioned the Roll No. – and the fact that his result has been “withheld”. The petitioner further states, that by the impugned Notification dated 25-1-1986 (Ann.-B); the Bilaspur University imposed the punishment of cancelling his annual examination of LL.B. Part III of 1985 and debarred him from Supplementary Examination of 1985 and Annual Examination of 1986 but he was never issued any show cause notice, nor granted any opportunity of hearing before imposition of the said punishment on him. The petitioner further avers, that he learnt about passing of some orders of punishment on him by Bilaspur University only when he was served with a show cause notice dated 23rd of August, 1988 (Annexure-D) issued by Raipur University wherein he was called upon to show cause as to why his result of having passed Supplementary Examination of LL.B. Part III from Raipur University in the year 1985 be not cancelled because of Bilaspur University’s Notification dated 25-1-1986 (Annexure-B). The petitioner submitted his reply dated 9-9-1988 (Ann.-E), explaining the circumstances and justifying dropping of the adverse proceedings under the impugned show cause notice, and also made applications to both the Universities to supply him copies of the proceedings by which adverse action (Ann.-B) was taken against him. The petitioner having been supplied the copy of the Notification dated 25-1-1986 as late as on 1-12-1988, he has challenged the Notification dated 25-1-1986 (Ann.-B) as also the impugned Resolution No. 8 (Ann.-F) dated 25-11-1988 of Raipur University. The grounds of challenge are as follows: –

(i) Impugned order in the Notification dated 25-1-1986 (Ann.-B) by the Bilaspur University violates the principles of natural justice and also Clause 23(f)(iv) of Ordinance 6, which also provides to a candidate concerned, an opportunity to show cause in writing within 15 days of such show cause notice against the proposed penalty referred in other Clauses as to why the proposed penalty may not be imposed on him and to consider such applications filed within the prescribed time before awarding penalty;

(ii) The punishment vide Notification dated 25-1-1986 is contrary to the guidelines/Penal Code laid down by the Committee appointed for investigating into the affairs of unfair means. The petitioner has been found guilty of misconduct mentioned in Category B of Misconduct and could not have been punished for misconduct prescribed in Category C. The punishment is disproportionate to the misconduct alleged, which had been held to be proved without any hearing;

(iii) That according to Clause 18 of Ordinance No. 6 which reads “no person who has been expelled or rusticated from any college or University or has been debarred from appearing at a University Examination, shall be admitted to any Examination during the period for which the sentence is in operation;

(iv) Clause 18 of Ordinance 6 could not have been resorted to by the Raipur University because on the date, the petitioner was admitted to LL.B. Part III Examination of Raipur University, there was no order in existence either of expulsion or rustication or of the punishment imposed later by the University of Bilaspur. Accordingly, the purported exercise of powers under Clause 18, Ordinance 6 cancelling the Examination of Raipur University for the punishment imposed by Bilaspur University on 25-1-1986 was beyond the powers;

(v) Clause 18 of Ordinance 6 cannot operate “retrospectively” to refuse admission to an Examination from a back date, when the candidate had already (admittedly) taken the Examination, and had passed it on 1-12-1985;

(vi) That the petitioner had fully disclosed the facts to Raipur University that the result in Bilaspur University for LL.B. Part III Examination was “withheld”; and Raipur University having granted admission for LL.B. Part III Supplementary Examination which he cleared;

(vii) The Raipur University, on principles of promissory estoppel, cannot refuse admission and cancel the Examination of subsequent event for which the University had punished him in the year 1986.

3. (i). The respondent No. 1 i.e. Bilaspur University filed Returns and alleged, that the petitioner was caught “using unfair means and was in possession of the incriminating material in the Examination Hall”, on 24-5-1985, in solving the questions of the paper “Taxation Law” of LL.B. Examination of April, 1985; and therefore, Bilaspur University did not declare his result and referred the matter to the Committee appointed by the Executive Council for disposal of unfair means cases. The Committee was appointed under the provisions of Ordinance 5. After taking into consideration the report of the Centre Superintendent and the concerned Examiner, as provided in that Ordinance, the Committee proposed to award the penalty and as per procedure laid down in Para (Clause) 23 of the Ordinance No. 6, a show cause notice dated 3-12-1985 was issued to the petitioner asking him as to why the proposed penalty may not be imposed on him and further stating, that if no reply is received from him within 15 days from the date of the issue of the show cause notice, the University shall take ex parte decision. (Copy of show cause notice – Ann. R-1 dated 3-12-1985). (ii) It is, however, averred that the petitioner did not submit any explanation, and therefore, as a matter of fact, the petitioner used the incriminating material for answering the questions, he was awarded the penalty of cancelling the Examination of LL.B. Final 1985 and was further debarred from appearing at the Supplementary Examination 1985 and the main examination of 1986. (iii) It is further alleged that like other cases of students, the award of penalty was communicated to the petitioner as well as to the Principals of the Colleges concerned, vide letter No. dated 25-1-1986. Thus, the petitioner was given sufficient time and opportunity to defend, as laid down in Clause 23 of Ordinance 6. It is denied that the petitioner came to know about the passing of those orders of punishment only on 23-8-1988, as alleged by him. It was petitioner’s right to know the result of the Examination and to get a copy of statement of marks within the stipulated time of 3 months from the date of the last day of examination, but knowing well that he used unfair means and was in possession of incriminating material, he had no courage to approach the Bilaspur University for that purpose. Accordingly, it is alleged that there is no violation of the principles of natural justice; nor any provisions of the Ordinance.

4. Respondent No. 1 Bilaspur University has further averred that the academic bio-data mentioned by the petitioner is also not correct because in a complaint made to the Collector, District Bilaspur (vide Ann. R-2 dt. 12-2-1988) the original complaint was sent to Bilaspur University for investigation and disposal and to communicate result to the petitioner and also to the Collector. The Collector, from that part of the above said enclosure was informed, that the petitioner also used unfair means at the Supplementary Examination of LL.B. Final in 1983 of Raipur University and a Notification No. 978/Purak/Parikshafal/1983 dated 26-2-1984 was issued, cancelling petitioner’s Examination and also debarred him from taking any examination of March/April, 1984 and July/August, 1984 (Ann. R-3). The Return states that the petitioner is guilty of suppressing those material facts,

5. That, the respondent No. 1 further stated, that during the course of investigation and final disposal of his case of unfair means at the Examination by Bilaspur University, he was not entitled to appear at any examination of another University i.e. Raipur University without producing (i) Leaving Certificate (ii) Migration Certificate (iii) Statement of Marks of Bilaspur University. But the petitioner “cheated” the Raipur University by hiding the material facts of his “unfair means case” and took Examination as an Ex-student of Bilaspur University though he was not eligible for the same; that, the Executive Council of the University had decided the criteria of punishment in 1985 applicable for the cases of unfair means (Ann. R-4). According to this criteria, cases of unfair means were decided; and this criteria printed on the back of the Admission Card is an advance warning to the students. However, every case is decided on the basis of the reports of the Invigilators on duty in the Examination Hall, Centre Superintendent and the Examiner concerned who is required to value answer books and get compared with the reply in the incriminating material. Therefore, the Bilaspur University had taken correct decision; that, the representation under section 24(XIII) of the M, P. Vishwavidyalaya Adhiniyam, 1973 has not been made within reasonable time as alleged, but after a lapse of 3 years and the petitioner vide letter No. 5717 dt. 24-12-1988 was already informed that no action could be taken. Thus, while denying the grounds it is stated that this petition is not maintainable, in view of the provisions contained in section 24 of the Vishwavidyalaya Adhiniyam. The rule of Estoppel does not operate against law and therefore, this petition is liable to be dismissed.

6. Respondent No. 2/Raipur University had opposed, (i) stating, that the petitioner, after passing LL.B. Parts I and II from Raipur University, appeared in Supplementary Examination of LL.B. Part III of 1983. He was found using unfair means in the examination conducted by Raipur University and therefore, by order dated 27-2-1984, his examination was cancelled, and he was debarred from appearing in two examinations by Raipur University. In the year 1984 Bilaspur University was established at Bilaspur and as it was newly established and carved out from Raipur University, the requirement of submitting Migration Certificate for admission under Ordinance 7, Clause 7, was relaxed. Taking advantage, the petitioner had taken admission in a College affiliated to Bilaspur University and appeared in the Examination of LL.B. Part III from Bilaspur University and was caught using unfair means. Consequently, his examination was cancelled and he was also debarred for 1985 Supplementary Examination and 1986 main examination by Bilaspur University. While denying that in the application form of Raipur University Supplementary Examination 1985, the petitioner disclosed that his result is withheld. It is further averred that a bare mention that the result is withheld does not debar the examinee to appear in examination ipso facto, because withholding may be on account of various reasons, such as, variation of marks submitted in a foil and counterfoil by the examiner, marks not entered in foil and counterfoil by the examiner, if the mark-sheet is not attached with the form; that the University permits an examinee to appear in one or two papers to obtain the aggregate and sometimes the student applies for 2 papers but appears only in one; in all such eventualities, the result is withheld to make proper verification. If the petitioner would have mentioned clearly in the form that his result is withheld as his case is before the “Unfair Means” Committee of Bilaspur University, then certainly he would not have been permitted to appear in the examination by Raipur University. The petitioner was well aware of the intended action taken by the Bilaspur University, which is apparent from the allegations in the petition itself that when he filled the form for 1985 Supplementary Examination from Raipur University, he had mentioned that the result has been withheld by Bilaspur University. Clause 18 of Ordinance 6 (Para 2(iii) supra) is clear in its terms. Since the petitioner was debarred from appearing in examination, his legal capacity to pass the examination was impaired and consequently, the fact that the petitioner actually passed the examination or that he has been declared passed in that examination is wholly immaterial for the object and purpose of Ordinance 6.

(ii) Furthermore, the University has all the powers and jurisdiction for cancelling the examination under clause 23-A of Ordinance No. 6. In these circumstances, there is no question of retrospective application of the provisions of Ordinance No. 6, Clause 18 as petitioner was legally debarred from appearing in the examination. Material fact is, that under the statute he could not be declared passed in the examination in which he could not have appeared. Moreover, the Executive Council of Raipur University, when it came to know of the petitioner being debarred from taking any examination for the relevant years, after consideration of the explanation submitted by the petitioner vide its Resolution dated 25-11-1988, cancelled the result of LL.B. Part II Supplementary Examination, 1985 and also resolved to withdraw LL.B. Degree conferred on him and all this action taken by the Executive Council is in consonance with the provisions of Ordinance No. 6 framed under M. P. Vishwavidyalaya Adhiniyam.

(iii) Regarding the decision in M. P. No. 3005/88, it was passed after hearing both the parties and the decision therein will operate as res judicata.

7. The petitioner filed Rejoinder, denying the receipt of any show cause notice dated 3-12-1985 against the impugned penalty. Hence, it is stated that it is false and fabricated also because the name of the petitioner’s father is wrongly mentioned; that even otherwise, the contents are too vague and ambiguous, and the report of the invigilator which is said to be the basis, has not been disclosed nor seems to have been sent with the so-called notice. The petitioner further denied having received any communication about the imposition of any penalty. In para 6 of the main petition, giving Bio-data there was no need for him to plead about the previous incident of unfair means because that punishment or order was not in force when he appeared in examination 1985. It was reiterated that the principle of estoppel is attracted.

8. In context of the abovesaid averments, all the learned counsel appearing for the parties were heard on merits. They canvassed their arguments with reference to the contentions elaborately stated above.

9. The pivotal controversy is: whether the impugned orders Annexure-B, dated 25-1-1986 passed by the Bilaspur University are violative of principles of natural justice and also Ordinance No. 6, Para 23(f)(iv) and therefore, illegal? And if so, the impugned decision by the Executive Council of Raipur University (Ann. F) dated 25-11-1988 cancelling LL.B. Final Supplementary Examination, 1985, withdrawal of LL.B. Degree and communication thereof to Bar Council are unjustified, unwarranted, illegal and liable to be quashed?

10. It would be relevant to preface further discussion by reference to the provisions of Madhya Pradesh Vishwavidyalaya Adhiniyam, 1973 (No. 22 of 1973) and the relevant Ordinances thereunder. Section 23 of Adhiniyam refers to the “Executive Council” which is the Executive Body of the University, consisting of Kulpati, 4 Deans of Faculties nominated by him, 3 persons elected by the Court, 2 Professors of the University Teaching Department, 4 Principals, Secretary to Government etc. as enumerated therein. Section 24 states, that subject to the provisions of this Act and the Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations made thereunder, the Executive Council shall have certain powers and shall perform certain duties referred in the section thereunder; item (xxxvi) empowers the Executive Council “to cancel examination in the event of malpractices, partially or wholly, and to take action against any person or group of persons found guilty of such malpractices, including rustication of student.” Under item (xxxvii), it can take disciplinary action against students enrolled in the University, including, candidates for any examinations; Section 25 relates to Academic Council and Section 26 mentions the powers and duties of Academic Council. Ordinance No. 5 (refer, clause vi of section 37) relates to “conduct of examinations”, which includes, that the arrangements are made by the Registrar in accordance with the directions of Executive Council in consultation with the Academic Council, determination of the centres of examinations and appointment of Superintendent and Asstt. Superintendents for examination centres; the Superintendent shall supervise the work of invigilators working under him and shall conduct the examinations; sending of confidential report to the Registrar about the conduct of examination, about the performance of the invigilators and the general behaviour of the examinees, etc.; the Centre Superintendent shall have the power to expel an examinee on certain grounds. Para 21 under Ordinance No. 5 relates to the taking of action by the Superintendent of an examination centre, against any examinee, who is found using or attempting to use unfair means in the examination hall or within the premises of the examination centre during the hours of the examination where the examinee is called upon to surrender all the objectionable materials found in his or her possession including the answer book; preparation of a memorandum, statement of the examinee and the invigilator to be recorded; and all such collected material to be forwarded to the Registrar by name in a separate confidential sealed, registered packet, marked ‘Unfair means’, along with the observations of the Superintendent. The material so collected together with the answer books while using unfair means to be sent to the Examiner by the Registrar for assessing the answer books separately and to report if the examinee had actually used unfair means in view of the material collected. The cases of the use of unfair means at the examination as reported by the Centre Superintendent, along with the report of the Examiner are to be examined by a “Committee to be appointed by the Executive Council” every year. It also specifies for the constitution of such “unfair means committee”, and the said Committee shall, after examination of cases, decide the action to be taken, in each case, and report to the Executive Council all cases of the use of unfair means, together with the decision of the committee, in each case.

11. Then, there is Ordinance No. 6 under the heading “Examinations (General)” (with reference to clause (iii) of section 37). Those relevant clauses have been extracted and shown in details in Annexure-R-1-a. In view of Paragraph 23(a), the candidates are under the disciplinary control of the Superintendent of the Centre and have to obey his instructions. Clauses (a), (b), (c) and (d) of Paragraph 23(a) (as shown in Annexure-R-1-a) indicate different situations envisaged therein, and clause (e) of paragraph 23 of Ordinance No. 6 provides, that in every case where action is taken by the Superintendent under (a), (b) or (c) above, a full report is to be sent to the University and the Executive Council, may, according to the gravity of the offence, further punish a candidate by cancelling his examination, and/or, debarring him from appearing at any of the examinations of the University for one or more years after giving the candidate an opportunity to show cause, and considering any explanation submitted by the candidate. Under Paragraph 2.1(f)(i). if a candidate is found guilty of using or attempting to use or having used unfair means at an examination etc. the Executive Council or the Committee appointed for the purpose by the Executive Council may cancel his examination, and also debar him from appearing at any of the examinations of the University for one or more years, according to the nature of the offence. Under Para 23(f)(ii), the Executive Council may cancel the examination of a candidate and/or debar him from appearing at an examination of the Vishwavidyalaya for one or more years, if it is discovered afterwards that the candidate was in any manner guilty of misconduct in connection with his examination and/or was instrumental in or has abetted the tampering of Vishwavidyalaya records including the answer books, mark sheets, result charts, diplomas and the like. Under sub-clause (iii). the Executive Council may cancel the examination of a candidate and/or debar him from appearing at an examination of the Vishwavidyalaya for one or more years, if it is discovered afterwards that the candidate had obtained admission to the examination by misrepresenting facts or by submitting false or forged documents. Under sub-clause (iv) when the University intends to award any of the aforesaid penalties under clause (i), (ii) or (iii) above, it shall give the candidate concerned an opportunity to show cause, within fifteen days of the issue of such ‘Show Cause’ letter, as to why the proposed penalty may not be imposed on him, and shall consider the explanation, if any, filed within the specified time, before awarding the penalty.

12. It was also pointed out that in the Admission Card, there are instructions to the candidates and the offences and the penalties which are also mentioned “by way of caution” (Ann. R.-4).

13. (i) Now the factual matrix according to respondent No. 1-Bilaspur University is, that the petitioner was caught “using the unfair means” and was found in possession of the incriminating material in the examination hall on 24-5-1985 and solving the questions of the paper ‘Taxation Law’ of the LL.B. Final, 1985 Examination. In view of the misconduct, the “Result Committee” did not declare the result of the petitioner, and the matter was referred to the “Unfair Means Committee” appointed by the Executive Council. The Committee considered the reports of the invigilator, Superintendent, Examiner concerned and Secretary as per the procedure laid down in Para 23 of Ordinance No. 6, a show cause notice dated 3-12-1985 (Ann. R-1) was issued to the petitioner. Misconduct/offence is said to have been under the Category ‘B’ for which the proposed penalty was also mentioned in the notice. The petitioner denies having received this notice. Could it be believed? Our answer is in the negative. It is stated, that father’s name is not mentioned. But, then, the “name of the petitioner” and his “full address” C/o has been mentioned, which cannot be, but the address as given by himself. There is no reason to disbelieve the counter claim that a notice was sent. The petitioner’s averment is difficult to believe as from the impugned Annexure-B, dated 25-1-1986. We find that there are about as many as 104 examinees, under category B, against whom proposed action was taken by the Executive Council. There is no allegation of malice against this particular petitioner.

(ii) The endorsements, on Annexure-B indicate, that the communication had been sent to all the examinees, to all the colleges, to all the Registrars of the Universities, Secretary, U.G.C. and all the Departments of Bilaspur University, for information and necessary action. Looking to the facts and circumstances of this case and the respective contentions, it can be presumed that those official acts of sending notices and further the communication of the decision (Anns. R-1 and B), to about 103 students including the petitioner were regularly performed in the common course of business followed in particular cases. However, the learned counsel Shri Naolekar, with the unfortunate experience in this case, had assured to advise the University to send such notices and communication, in future, as far as possible by registered post or at least under Certificate of Posting which is of course a different matter. Then there are no allegations imputing malice or bias.

14. We further disbelieve the petitioner’s contention that if he had received such a notice, he would not have kept silent but would have answered the show cause notice. This notice No. 2005 Gopniya. A. Saa./85 dated 3-12-1985 was sent sometime on that date, and as admittedly no explanation to the show cause notice was furnished, the impugned decision was taken on 25-1-1986. Pausing here, it seems that no explanation to the show cause notice was sent because, meanwhile, the other University (Raipur University) had already declared him passed on 1-12-1985. May be, the silence was because of being already declared as passed by another University without knowing what the consequences would be. There are further reasons to disbelieve the petitioner because we find that he did not come with clean hands, which is a must when he is invoking extraordinary jurisdiction of this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution. To be precise, in Para 6 of the petition, he gave his bio-data of having passed LL.B. Part I and Part II respectively, in the main and Supplementary Examinations from Raipur University in 1982. Then, there is an ingenious averment that he “unsuccessfully appeared” in LL.B. Part III Examination 1983 and Supplementary Examination of 1983 from Raipur University. This is totally false. Because in the Supplementary Examination of Raipur University, he was found using unfair means, and as per Notification No. 978/87 dated 27-2-1984 (Ann. R-3) he was debarred from appearing in main and Supplementary Examination for 1984. His Roll No. was 49642. Those facts cannot be brushed aside on a convenient excuse that they were most immaterial and irrelevant for this petition. It totally belies the contention that if he had received notice (Ann. R.-1) dated 3-12-1985, he would have made representation against it.

15. For the aforesaid reasons, we find that the petitioner deliberately chose to mention in Col. 8 (as per his own contention) that the result of his examination from Bilaspur University has been “withheld”. May be, the authorities involved in checking such application were not vigilant in further making enquiries; may be, as migration certificate was not required from the newly created University which was carved out from the main Raipur University, which facilitated such mistake. May be, which cannot be ruled out, the petitioner “managed” with the concerned persons to clear his application for admission. Whatever it may be, the whole matter stinks of foul play. Incidentally, we find that even in the application form which admittedly the petitioner filled up for appearing in LL.B. Part III Supplementary Examination 1985 from Raipur University, there is a specific instruction, at Sr. No. 21 of the Sample application form (Ann. G), that no candidate shall be eligible to appear in a particular year for more than one examinations. Then there is a “verification clause” under which the candidate declares and gives an undertaking that all the information required in the application has been furnished, and in case it is found incorrect, he will be liable for consequences according to Rules. Therefore, we find that the petitioner was not at all eligible to appear in Raipur University in Supplementary Examination 1985. It is very intriguing how he managed all this. We are therefore of the view that the petitioner seems to have an unclean record throughout and is not a person who deserves any relief under the extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution.

16. For the above reasons, we find that the petitioner was found using unfair means and as required under the provisions of the Ordinance, action was taken and a show cause notice was also given but the petitioner did not file any reply or the explanation, and accordingly, the impugned orders/Notification dated 25-1-1986 (Ann. B) was passed.

17. To reiterate, the petitioner by misrepresentations and suppression of facts, managed to appear in the same year in Raipur University while his case for unfair means was pending decision. Accordingly, what the Raipur University has done in taking further action after giving a notice to the petitioner was also proper and justified. The University has authority to cancel such examination and withdraw a degree accordingly.

18. Much has been said about promissory estoppel. This question came up for consideration before a Full Bench in Bal Krishna Tiwari v. Registrar of Awadhesh Pratap Singh University, Rewa and Ors., 1978 MPLJ 172. That case is distinguishable on its own facts, but so far as the applicability of estoppel is concerned, it was held:-

“Cases where occasion arises for refusal to permit a candidate to appear in an examination or cancel his examination may broadly be categorised in four Classes:- (1) Where the candidate practices fraud on the authorities or is guilty of misstatement or suppression of facts in the application form. In such a case there is no question of estoppeal arising. A person practising fraud cannot claim estoppel and the authorities would be within their rights in cancelling admission card or examination on discovery of fraud. (2) Where there is some technical defect or deficiency which could be condoned under the Rules or Regulations. If in such a case an admission card is issued, and the candidate has appeared even in one paper, estoppel will operate against the authorities as they will be deemed to have representated that the defect had been condoned. Where the examination has not yet begun whether the authorities will be estopped from cancelling admission card will depend on facts of each case. (3) Where the candidate is patently ineligible, there can be no estoppel as there can be no estoppel against Statute. (4) Where question of eligibility depends on Interpretation of Statute or rules and two interpretations are possible reasonably, it will depend on the facts whether estoppel will operate or not when once the candidate has appeared even in one paper after issue of admission card. In such a case the authorities may be taken to have accepted the interpretation favourable to the candidate.”

19. In the case before us, the petitioner was totally ineligible to appear in the LL.B. Part III Supplementary Examination, 1985 and was at least guilty of suppression of facts and the circumstances smack of fraudulent misconduct.

20. Lastly, it was urged that the petitioner has been found guilty of misconduct referred in Category B but has been awarded punishment. In the Return it is stated that what is printed on the back of the admission card is only a deterrent warning and does not constitute the penal code which has been laid down in Paragraph 23(f)(i), (ii), (iii) and (iv) and this case has been decided on its own merits in accordance with Para 23(f)(i) to (iv) of Ordinance No. 6.

21. In conclusion, we find that there is no merit in both the petitions. Accordingly both the petitions viz. Petitions Nos. M. P. 4115/88 and M.C.C. No. 587/88 are dismissed. However, before parting with this petition, we are constrained to observe that the petitioner seems to have ingeniously managed to get admission in the Supplementary Examination 1985 of LL.B. Part III in Raipur University. It would be proper for the Raipur University to have a thorough probe in the matter and take action against officials involved. This is all the more necessary because it appears from Annexure R-2 dated 12-2-1988 that it was in connection with some complaint by some quarters, the Deputy Collector, for Collector, Bilaspur, wrote to Kul Sachiv of Bilaspur University for investigation. A reply was sent to the Collector which ultimately revealed, as per letter addressed to the Collector, that this petitioner was already punished by Bilaspur University but fraudulently got admission and obtained the degree from Raipur University. But for such complaint, about which nothing more is on record, the skeletons would have remained buried. Therefore, it is desirable that both the Universities will make a thorough probe and take action against those found delinquent Parties to bear their own costs. Counsel’s fee Rs. 200/-.

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