Debarring ATKT Student from Appearing for Examination Unjust: Chhattisgarh HC
The High Court of Chhattisgarh in Mayank Shukla vs. State of Chhattisgarh– Writ Appeal No. 171 of 2021- held that where the student was Allowed to Keep Terms (ATKT) 1st chance and accordingly promoted to the second semester cannot be debarred from appearing in second-semester examinations.
The bench consisting of Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami and Justice Sanjay K. Agrawal held:
..the petitioner was given the status of ex-regular, which expression as noted earlier, does not find place, either in the BBA Ordinance-91 or in the Ordinance No. 6, the petitioner having been allowed to take the I-Semester examination in all the subjects again and he having failed only in one subject, we are of the considered opinion that in the first instance, it was rightly described in the result that ‘ATKT 1st chance’ was obtained by the petitioner. It is on that premise that we hold that the petitioner was allowed to pursue his II-semester and eventually promoted, though formal result has been withheld.
The petitioner, a student of Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Vivekananda College (respondent no. 4), under Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur (respondent no. 2) was a regular student for BBA first semester, academic session 2018-19. The semester included 5 subjects namely English, Computer Application, Business Mathematic, Principles of Management and Financial Accounting. The results for this examination were declared on 02.04.2019 according to which the petitioner had failed in 3 subjects and was declared to be failed. The petitioner again appeared for the first semester as an ex-regular student where he passed in 4 subjects except in Business Mathematics but this time in his statements of marks it was shown as ATKT 1st Chance and thereafter he applied for re-evaluation and deposited the examination fees for the second semester on 28.08.2020. Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, all the students of the second semester were promoted and results were published on the official website dated 06.10.2021 also declared the students of the second semester as passed which meant the petitioner had also passed.
Following this, the petitioner requested the original mark sheet of the second semester which was denied by the university. The reason stated was that as an ex-regular student, he had failed in his first semester and under Ordinance 91 he was ineligible to appear for the second-semester examination. Consequently, his result was taken down from the website.
Aggrieved by the act of the university, the petitioner filed a writ and sought a direction against the university to furnish his second-semester mark sheet along with the permission allowing him to appear for the third-semester examinations. The single bench while refusing to hear the petitioner’s prayer instead asked him to pay a compensation of Rs. 15000/- to the respondent university. Further aggrieved by the order of the single bench the petitioner appeared before the Bench.
The counsel of the petitioner placed reliance on Clause 11 of the BBA Ordinance-91. The court read Ordinance 91 in which clause 11 states:
- A candidate obtaining ATKT and after appearing in two chances given to him/her to clear the semester, fails to clear it, shall be allowed to appear in All the papers of that semester once, as an Ex student. If a candidate fails to clear the semester as an Ex student he/she shall cease to be the student of BBA course.”
The counsel of the respondents maintaining the order of the single bench stated that in academic matters, interference by writ courts should be minimal especially when it comes to decisions of authorities.
The court rejected the respondents claim while stating that the question in concern was the interpretation of an ordinance and the court had the authority to do so. Accordingly, the court held that the petitioner was eligible for the third semester as the term used for him as ‘ex-regular student’ was neither mentioned in the ordinance nor inferred from its interpretation.
Further, the court asked the university to deliver the mark sheet of second semester to the petitioner within two weeks
We direct the respondent- University to furnish the II-Semester mark-sheet of the petitioner within a period of two weeks from today and to admit the petitioner in the III-semester as also to appear in the examination in light of Clauses 9 and 10 of the BBA Ordinance-91.
Accordingly, the court set aside the order of the single bench judge.
Rasmita Behera | Research Intern | EduLegaL
Swapna Iyer | Legal Editor | EduLegaL