Universities cannot deny gold medal to topper who could not take exam in first attempt: Delhi high court
Justice Indermeet Kaur observed that the university could not deprive the student of the award for achieving the highest score on the ground that he took the examination in respect of two papers in the following year.india Updated: Jan 28, 2018 19:33 IST
It’s a big relief for many students who fail to write an exam owing to illness and fear that his second attempt could deprive him of a gold medal.
The Delhi high court has held that sitting for an exam by a student in the successive academic year owing to illness or other such circumstances in the first year will still be considered the “first attempt”, and that this is no ground for denying any recognition to the student.
Justice Indermeet Kaur observed that the university could not deprive the student of the award for achieving the highest score in the batch on the ground that he took the examination in respect of two papers in the following year.
The petitioner, through his advocate Amit George, informed the high court that he was enrolled in the five-year course of BA LLB in 2010 at Amity Law School, affiliated to Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University.
For his sixth semester examination, out of five papers he could not appear in two papers, the paper of Code of Civil Procedure and the paper of Code of Criminal Procedure. These two examinations were scheduled for May, 2013.
The petitioner could not appear in the examinations as he was suffering from chicken pox.
The petitioner wrote his examination in the two papers in 2014 and passed with flying colours. He graduated from the university with the highest score/cumulative performance index (CPI) for his course that is 80.56.
In February, 2016, the petitioner was shocked to learn that he was not being considered for the award of Gold Medal in spite of him having achieved the highest score in his course.
Advocate George, during the course of arguments, further said his client in 2014 had appeared for five examinations for his eighth semester.
“He had also appeared in the two examinations of his 6th semester examination...This was a telling experience and highly burdensome to the petitioner as in that year he had to give seven papers and the papers of the Code of Civil Procedure and the Code of Criminal Procedure were conducted on the same day when the papers of the 8th Semester were scheduled,” the counsel said.
The university opposed the prayer of the petitioner and said under the governing ordinance, any student who fails to appear in examinations at the first time and thereafter appears in the said examinations on a subsequent date would qualify as a “second attempt” on his part.
The court agreed with the student’s counsel’s submission and observed the student’s “extra one year did not work to his advantage but in fact worked to his disadvantage”.
“The petitioner having qualified his papers in the first attempt with the highest CPI (Cumulative Performance Index) was thus entitled to the award of the Gold Medal,” the court said.
The court relied on the judgments of various high courts and the Supreme Court to arrive at the conclusion that examinations taken by the present petitioner in 2014 shall be regarded as his “first attempt” and directed the respondent university to confer the Gold Medal on him.
The court, however, refused to disturb the status of the co-student, also impleaded as a respondent in the present writ petition, who, having sat for the examinations in 2013 and securing the second highest CPI, was awarded the Gold Medal by the university.