- COURT : High Court of New Delhi
- JURISDICTION : Civil Original Jurisdiction
- CASE NO : W.P.(C) No.3163/2010
- BENCH : RAJIV SAHAI ENDLAW, J.
- PETITIONER : Vibhor Anand & Ors.
- RESPONDENTS : Vice-Chancellor, Guru Gobind Indraprastha University & Ors
- DECIDED ON : 07th December 2010.
The Bar Council of India is the legislative authority for governing the country’s legal practices. The body prescribes the proper conduct of lawyers in India and defines the criteria for legal education by issuing those standards for law students’ involvement in their respective law colleges. Currently, in compliance with BCI’s Attendance Rule 12, a law student is expected to attend at least 70 percent of the classes of his subject concerned, any student not bound by the above rule is not allowed to take the final semester examination of the subject concerned, however, If a student does not attend 70 percent for any exceptional cause, then the dean of that particular institution is entitled to give such a student a concession allowing him/her to participate at least 65 percent in his/her subject concerned and 70 percent in all subjects combined. The case also addresses the issue of attendance of an LLB sixth-semester student of the University of Guru Gobind Indraprastha, as he is not entitled to take the final exam because he is not attending daily lectures or because of a lower standard of credit.
FACTS OF THE CASE IN BRIEF:-
Vibhor Anand, a student of the sixth semester LLB course, petitioned against his University to permit him to take his sixth-semester end-term exam as he was barred from taking the exam because of his low attendance in his daily lectures. The complainant, the student, also contested his university dean’s appointment for striking the said appointment. The student’s petition has contested the dean’s appointment to strike down the said appointment.
After this, the Court allowed him to appear with a writer for his exams, but his test’s result must be held in a sealed cover after the Respondent University submitted this counter-affidavit. Consequently, the result of the Petitioner was not announced after the hearings, and he did not attend any classes for, and later on, it was raised by the Petitioner’s side that if he is found to be passed in the test, he is permitted to enter the seventh semester and attend lectures of the same class. If he is unsuccessful, he is permitted to take the sixth-semester end term examination.
The University is against the student’s above argument to let him enter the seventh-semester examination on the ground that before entering the next term, he did not pass the requisite number of papers that a student is required to do.
Issues that the Respondent raised:
- Is the candidate legitimately eligible for promotion to the next semester if he did not obtain the necessary credit score before the sixth semester of his course and could not meet the BCI & the respondent university’s attendance requirement?
Issues that the Petitioner has raised:
- Has the respondent university’s decision been legitimately correct by preventing the Petitioner’s promotion from the sixth to the seventh semesters?
ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE PETITIONERS:-
- Since he attended most of the classes, the respondent university manipulated the attendance records, and there can be no lack of attendance in his records.
- For the time he spent as the head convenor of the volunteer team in Commonwealth games in 2010, the Petitioner reported 120 attendances for the period he spent as the head convenor of the volunteer team in Commonwealth games in 2010 along with this, because of his medical reasons, the Petitioner also claimed 5 daily attendances and 25 percent attendance for his involvement in moot court competitions, ventures, workshops, etc. The Petitioner further argued that the vice chancellor’s discretion would be entitled to a waiver of 5 percent attendance.
- Even after seeking the same from the University, the Petitioner claimed that his attendance details were not given to him.
ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY RESPONDENT:-
- Until his sixth semester, the applicant could pass just 5 out of 30 papers, so he could not obtain the credit score needed for advancement to the next semester.
- Because in the sixth semester, the Petitioner had attended just 28.5 percent of the overall lectures instead of the 75 percent criteria.
- The Petitioner claimed to engage in extracurricular events. However, even if the Petitioner is granted Grace’s participation in commonwealth games as a volunteer trainee, the attendance will hit just 28.5 percent to 49 percent, which is far lower than the attendance recommended by the laws of the Bar Council of India and the University.
- The candidate was accepted to the BA-LLB course at the University in 2006, but only 5 out of a total of 30 subjects in those four years were eligible to attend the BA-LLB course until 2010. During those years, the applicant was given a promotion because of the procedure of enabling promotion after the sixth semester due to clearing the previous records.
- That the complainant was found guilty of wrongdoing in the class by the appeal committee and was also found to have used arbitrary means during his 2008-2009 exams, as a result of which his examination was also canceled.
CASES RELIED ON BY THE COURT:
Choudhary Ali Zia Kabir vs. Guru Gobind Indraprastha University:-
In this case, it was held that the students should not contest the universities’ attendance record before the Court of law. If that does, the institutions will engage in attendance lawsuits. They will still be embroiled in providing attendance rather than delivering education to the students. In this case, the Court has found that it is exceedingly difficult or almost impossible for the courts to determine if a pupil has been appropriately identified present or absent on a given day because a teacher who teaches would not mark a student present in the class as absent. It was also concluded that a student who is accepted to a technical degree course is expected to know the course’s requirements and procedures, including the attendance policy, and thus he/she should not be able to state that they were not informed that they were not attending.
Besides, the claims on the grounds of co-curricular practices were also strongly dismissed in this situation.
Gagandeep Kaur vs. Govt of NCT of Delhi:-
In this case, the distinction between a student’s voluntary and non-voluntary absence from daily lectures was considered insignificant, and it was considered that a student must conform with the rules of a course he/she has taken admission to. Attendance is obligatory for a student to complete his/her education process. In this case, it was also held that a student would not be awarded a certificate of completion of a course or degree if he/she had not completed the requisite education phase. In addition, a student is bound to attend 75 percent of lectures according to the laws of attendance and is granted a waiver for the remaining 25 percent, so it was kept in this case that a student enjoys substantial independence from the lectures and can comfortably engage in other co-curricular events. With this, a student must sustain his/her attendance according to the rules.
Apoorv Yadav vs. University Of Delhi & Ors.:-
In this case, it was concluded that attending lectures primarily affects a student’s practical preparation, and failure to do so essentially renders a student unfit for the completion of the course credential certificate, particularly for law students, it was held that if a student did not attend lectures, he/she could not take a jump to the next year of course study.
THE JUDICIAL DECISION:-
The Court held that the applicant had a weak academic record and that it was unnecessary to promote him to the seventh semester.
It was also held that the Petitioner’s charges that his teachers were fabricating his attendance were false and were adequate to exempt him from the discretionary remedies provided for in Article 226 of the Indian Constitution.
To contest the appointment of the dean in terms of seeking attendance, not a little credibility could be granted as the applicant’s claims were all factual.
Regarding the proposal submitted by the Petitioner, averring the pause in its review due to the defects of the respondent university, instructions were issued to the respondent university to allow the Petitioner to take the examination without interruption delay.
Therefore, the contempt was dismissed because the Court could not find any substance in this appeal, and it was dismissed, and no costs were levied.
In my view, the decision of the Court is rational in that it abides by the rules and regulations of the Bar Council of India on the presence of law Students attendance in their respective colleges, this decision is appropriate because it is true that teaching in the classroom is an integral part of the learning process and is directly proportional to the actual implementation of the same, but at the same time, the colleges should also recognize that being a law student, participating in the moot court and other co-curricular events play an enormous role in one’s career. Therefore, further concessions should be offered to a law student who is expected to partake in a constructive co-curricular activity that will improve his or her personality and allow a student to succeed in their careers.
CASE NAME: – Vibhor Anand & Ors. Vs Vice-
Chancellor, Guru Gobind Singh
P.BHUVAN DEEPAK, [ B.B.A,L.L.B.], Gitam School Of Law.
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