Guru Nanak Dev University & Anr Vs. Harjinder Singh & Anr  INSC 379 (14 July 1994)
Singh (J) Kuldip Singh (J) Sahai, R.M. (J) Faizan Uddin (J)
1994 AIR 2591 1994 SCC (5) 208 JT 1994 (4) 405 1994 SCALE (3)288
contentions raised in these writ petitions are covered by the pronouncement of
this Court in Writ Petition No. 123 of 1987 (Pankaj Jain Agencies v. Union of
India 12 ).
the reasons set out in and following the said pronouncement, these writ
petitions are dismissed with costs.
DEV UNIVERSITY v. HARJINDER SINGH (Kuldip Singh,J) The Judgment of the Court
was delivered by KULDIP SINGH, J.- Special leave granted.
Singh and Amandeep 'Singh, respondents in the appeal herein, were found guilty
of using unfair means in B.A. 11 Examination held in May 1991 by the Guru Nanak
Dev University and were debarred from appearing in any university examination
for a period of two years. The respondents challenged the action of the university
by way of a writ petition under Articles 226/227 of the Constitution of India
before Punjab and Haryana High Court at Chandigarh. The High Court by its judgment
dated 21-5- 1992 allowed the writ petition and quashed the orders of the
University. This appeal by the Guru Nanak Dev University, is against the judgment of the
respondents appeared in B.A. Part II English (C) Examination on 26-5-1991 at Ramgarhia College, Phagwara Centre, in the State of Punjab. The flying squad visited the
centre while the examination was going on. What the flying squad noticed in the
examination centre can at best be described by quoting the report of the
in-charge flying squad which was sent to the University. The relevant part is
is submitted that as a member of the flying squad, visited Ramgarhia College, Phagwara on 26-5-1991. 1 was assigned Centre Nos. 4 and 6 of this College. Before entering
the Centre No. 4, when I entered this College premises, there was crowd of
unwanted, hooligan students. I asked the sepoy of Home Guard on duty to
disperse this mob. After this, some of the students did run away, but the
others continued interfering with the smooth conduct of examination in both the
centers from outside. The situation of Centre No. 4 was very deplorable. Many
students possessed incriminating material and when the members of the flying
squad entered the examination hall, they started throwing away the
incriminating material in between the lines of desks. With this action, there
was a complete chaos, but situation was controlled with great difficulty. After
this the incriminating papers were recovered from two students bearing Roll
Nos. 51419 and 65810.
cases were written on UMC form Nos. B- 2038 and B-2037 respectively.
this, when we entered Centre No. 6, meant for private candidates we found the
situation of this centre worse. There was no control at all in this centre.
There was total chaos."
Apart from the report of the flying squad the university received a specific
complaint accompanied by carbon copies, printed material and photostat copies
of the hand-written slips with the allegations that the candidates appearing in
B.A. Part II English (C) on 26-5-1991 at Ramgarhia College, Phagwara Centre
made use of the said material while giving answers to the question paper.
in view the scenario depicted by the flying squad the University decided to
enquire into the complaint received by it. The answer books pertaining to the
above centre were sent to the subject expert for his scrutiny and report. The
subject expert confirmed the allegations contained in the complaint and found
that the respondents had copied from the incriminating material. The
respondents were charged for using unfair means in the examination and were
given opportunity to meet the charges. The respondents were served with
show-cause notices and were asked to appear before the Standing Committee of
the University to defend the charges under Ordinance 10(h) and (j) read with
Ordinances 11 and 13 of the Guru Nanak Dev University Calendar Volume 11
(1991). Not satisfied with the replies submitted by the respondents, the
Standing Committee of the University found the respondents guilty in its
proceedings dated 20-12-1991. The relevant part of the proceedings in Amandeep's
case is reproduced as under:
"The specific allegations against the aforementioned candidate are that he
copied answer to Q. Nos. III and VII from the incriminating material.
candidate was issued show-cause notice for the commission of offences under
Ordinance 10(h) and (j) read with Ordinance 11 and Ordinance 13 published in
the GNDU Calendar Volume 11, Part B, 1991 and in pursuance thereof he appeared
before the Committee today. The allegations levelled against him were narrated
to him in detail enabling him to give his explanation, if any. The candidate
denied the charges as incorrect and also denied having copied from the
incriminating material circulated in the Centre.
have examined the case from all aspects.
subject expert in his report has clearly stated that the candidate has copied
answer to Q. Nos. III and VII. We have also ourselves compared the answer book
of the candidate with the corresponding answer in the incriminating material
and found the answer to Q. Nos. III and VII verbatim in the answer book and the
incriminating material. Hence both the charges levelled against the candidate
are proved beyond doubt.
therefore, hold the candidate guilty of the commission of offence under
Ordinance 10(j) read with Ordinance 11 and Ordinance 13 mentioned above and
disqualify him for two years under each count from appearing in any examination
of the University. Both the punishments shall run concurrently." The
proceedings of the Standing Committee in the case of Harjinder Singh are almost
in similar terms.
High Court quashed the proceedings of the Standing Committee of the University
on the following reasoning:
bare perusal of sub-clause (i) to (h) shows that this was to apply if some
material was found in possession of the candidate. Clause (j) is to apply if
the candidate had received any help from inside or outside the examination
hall. Ordinance 13 which has been reproduced in the written statement provides
that if the candidate had received or attempted to receive help from any source
and in any manner, he could be disqualified from appearing in any examination
for a period of not less than two years. The allegation of the petitioners that
no incriminating material was recovered from their possession was not
specifically denied in the written statement by the University. Thus, Ordinance
10 clause (h) will not be attracted to the case in hand.
similar circumstances, we held so in Sanjeev Sharma's case. As far as
sub-clause (j) Ordinance 10 is concerned, there was no material before the
Unfair Means Committee that the candidates received any help from any source.
Merely because the answers to some questions in the answer sheet tallied with
some material, may be from a book, will not show that the candidates had
received any help from inside or outside the examination hall.
has to be some material to give a finding on question covered by clause (j) 212
and it is only thereafter that Ordinance 13 would come into play. In such
circumstances it would be a case based on no material."
would be useful at this stage to have a look at the relevant University
Ordinances which are reproduced hereunder:
10 The use of unfair means in or in relation to the nomination shall include
the following acts or omissions on the part of the candidate viz.
(h) * * * (j)receiving help or attempting to receive help for answering the
question paper from any source in any manner, inside or outside the examination
* * ORDINANCE 13 If the answer book of a candidate shows or it is otherwise
established, that he had received or attempted to receive help from any source
and in any manner, or has given help or attempted to give help to another
candidate in any manner, he shall be disqualified from appearing in any
examination for a period of not less than two years." The expression
"unfair means" has been defined in Ordinance 10 of the University
Ordinances. The definition is on the face of it inclusive and not exhaustive.
The menace of copying has already reached an alarming stage and in fact is a
disgrace to our education system. There is no end to the ingenuity in
discovering new techniques and methods of copying in the examination halls. It
is not, therefore, possible to give an exhaustive definition of "unfair
framers of the ordinances have rightly given an inclusive definition to the
said expression in Ordinance 10.
of the view that Ordinance 10 covers use of unfair means in or in relation to
the examination by any act or omission on the part of the candidate. It may be
covered by any of the instances given in clauses (a) to (k) of Ordinance 10 or
even otherwise. So long as the University has communicated the charge to the
candidate in clear terms and has given him opportunity to defend, the candidate
cannot be heard to say that he is not guilty simply because he is not covered
by any of the clauses in Section 10 of the Ordinance.
flying squad found that many students possessed incriminating material and on
seeing the members of the flying squad they started throwing away the same in
between the lines of the desks. The situation was deplorable and there was
total 'chaos in the examination hall. In the background of the situation in the
examination hall as depicted by the flying squad the University was justified
in inquiring into the complaint received by it. The subject expert on
examination of the answer books and comparing the same with the incriminating
material came to the conclusion that the respondents had copied from the
incriminating material. The Standing Committee, on comparison found that the
answers to Question Nos. 3 and 7 were verbatim copied from the incriminating
material. It was, therefore, proved to the satisfaction of the Standing Committee
that the respondents 213 received help in answering the question paper from the
incriminating material. The charge is covered by Ordinances 10(j) and 13 of the
University Ordinances. We are of the view that in the facts and circumstances
of this case specially as reported by the flying squad the non-recovery of the
incriminating material from the possession of the candidates is of no
consequence. It cannot be a mere coincidence that answers given by the
respondents tally verbatim with the answers contained in the incriminating
material. It was not the case of the respondents before the Standing Committee
that they had crammed the answers from any book or any other source. We are,
therefore, of the view that the High Court fell into patent error in quashing
the proceedings of the Standing Committee and the consequent orders of the
allow the appeal, set aside the impugned judgment of the High Court dated 21-5-1992 and dismiss the writ petition filed by the
respondents before the High Court. No costs.