Today: Jun 19, 2024

HC asks KU to pay Rs one lakh as damages to student for having wrongly failed him in examination

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Srinagar: The High Court of J&K & Ladakh has directed the University of Kashmir to pay Rs one lakh as damages to a student for its “mindless action of wrongly applying the re-evaluation statute” and failing him in the examination.

Justice Javed Iqbal Wani while disposing of the case of Abdul Basit, a bachelor’s student from Bandipore, ordered “the mindless action of the respondents for having applied the statute supra wrongly to the respondent, university to pay an amount of Rs one lakh to the petitioner as damages within a period of four weeks from the date of passing of this order.”

Failing compliance, the amount would carry an interest @ 6 percent per annum apart from any other legal remedy as may be available to the petitioner, said the order.

The petitioner student appeared in B.A. 5th Semester Examination for the Session 2017-18 conducted by the University.

After declaration of the results, the petitioner was shown to have failed in the General English paper having secured 27 marks as against 38 marks required to pass.

The petitioner upon making an application obtained a xerox copy of his answer-sheet from the university. Upon its examination, it was revealed that one of the questions in the answer-sheet had not been evaluated and no marks thereof awarded. As a consequence, the petitioner applied for re-evaluation of the paper.

As a result of re-evaluation, the petitioner was shown to have secured 40 marks. However, the university scaled down 40 marks to 34 marks on the basis of “its statute 10 pertaining to the re-evaluation of answer-scripts”. In the process it changed the result of the petitioner for the paper from pass to fail yet again.

The university through its counsel Syed Faisal Qadri argued that all averments and contentions by the petitioner are inconsistent and repugnant to law. The grievance projected by the petitioner in the writ petition has been already addressed and resolved and prayed his petition be dismissed with costs.

Bhat Fayaz Ahmad, the petitioner’s lawyer said the university has infringed the legal and fundamental rights of the petitioner by their arbitrary and unreasonable acts of omission and commission.

“Firstly they did not award marks to one of the questions in the answer-sheet of the petitioner; thereafter though awarded due marks to the said question making the petitioner pass in the paper, they yet again by applying some unknown rule slashed down the said pass marks and declared the petitioner failed in the paper in question…

“… and even thereafter in order to cover-up their unfair acts, compelled the petitioner to once again reappear in the paper in question though the petitioner having had passed the same after re-evaluation,” he argued .

The counsel for the university contended that by application of Statute 10 of the University of Kashmir, pertaining to the re-evaluation of answer-scripts, the 40 marks got slashed down to 34 marks. This rendered the petitioner ‘fail’ again.

However, thereafter the petitioner in a fresh examination conducted by the university for the paper in question, passed the same, he said.

Justice Wani observed that a bare perusal of the aforesaid Statute would manifestly tend to show that it was arbitrarily and illegally applied to the petitioner.

“The university has acted unreasonably and unfairly having resulted in substantial and grave prejudice to the petitioner by subjecting him to reappear in the examination afresh in the paper in question. Although the petitioner was found to have passed the paper in question but for the wrong application of the aforesaid statute inasmuch as to cover-up the patent and blatant acts of omission by the respondents,” he said.