Vs. R.M. Premchand  INSC 502 (30 September 1994)
M.M. Punchhi, M.M. Reddy, K. Jayachandra (J)
1994 SCC (6) 620 1994 SCALE (4)436
Leave granted in both matters.
K.R. Srinivas, the appellant in civil appeal arising out of SLP (C) No.2828 of
1994 is aggrieved against the order of a Division Bench of the Andhra Pradesh
High Court dated 17-12-1993 passed in Writ Appeal No. 53 of 1993 whereby the
Writ Petition No. 2082 of 1991, preferred by Dr R.M. Premchand the first
respondent under Article 226 of the Constitution, was allowed in public
interest. Since certain adverse remarks came to be made by the Division Bench
against the father of K.R. Srinivas i.e. Professor K.V + From the Judgment and
Order dated 17-12-1993 of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in W.A. No. 53 of 1993
622 Ramana, the then Vice-Chancellor of the Andhra University, the other appeal
arising out of SLP (C) No. 2392 of 1994 seeks the limited relief of expunction
of all those remarks.
are refraining from giving herein the facts elaborately, for we have felt a
sense of discomfort and uneasiness in which the High Court's jurisdiction in
public interest was invoked at a point of time when the appellant stood
cornered and cross-checking became impossible by the court.
the year 1988 Professor K.V Ramana appellant was the Vice Chancellor of the Andhra University, during which time his son K.R. Srinivas appellant sat for
the final examination of Bachelor of Marine Engineering. The result declared
disclosed that he had passed therein in second division. He applied to the
University authorities on two different dates for revaluation of his answer
books pertaining to three subjects:
Industrial Engineering and Management,
Technology II Metallurgy, and 3. Design and Machine Element Part 11.
re-evaluated result brought him substantially higher marks. As a result K.R. Srinivas
got a first division and a degree in B.E. Marine Engineering on that basis was
awarded to him. Allegedly as a result thereof he got a coveted job. There was a
furore that the results were manipulated because of the Vice-Chancellor's
interest in his son. In the meantime since procedural irregularities in the
framing of the result of various candidates got to a scandal, the Government of
Andhra Pradesh appointed an Enquiry Commission. A couple of years went by. It
is in the year 1991 that the respondent Dr R.M. Premchand moved the High Court
in a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution challenging the result
of the appellant only in public interest inter alia on the ground that neither
the University was competent to reevaluate the papers nor could such result be
achieved since there were procedural irregularities as also that the result had
learned Single Judge of the High Court elaborately went into the matter. He
steered through the air of suspicion dismissing the writ petition. A Division
Bench of the High Court reversed the learned Single Judge holding that the
result of the appellant had been manipulated. The degree awarded was however
not cancelled. On the point of cancellation the Division Bench agreed with the
learned Single Judge.
hearing these petitions on 15-9-1994 we
were inspired to have a look at the answer books as also the question papers in
which results had substantially been improved. We, therefore, required of the
University counsel to produce before us the answer books as also the question
papers for our inspection today. Anticipating their production we also required
learned counsel for the parties to give us a list of examiners for the subjects
involved available in the Universities and Institutions functioning in Delhi, together with their addresses and
phone numbers, residential as well as official, if possible, so that we could
establish contact with any of them. This effort was made to see for ourselves,
on inviting the academics, whether there was a real error of assessment in the
first result and further whether the 623 rectification by revaluation was
erroneous. The other reason was to take away the exercise from Andhra Pradesh
to a neutral place like Delhi and that too under our eye. We were
hopeful that we would be able to do substantial justice in this way. Our hopes
however stand dashed since we are informed that the answer books stood
destroyed way back on 14-8-1989, much before the institution of the
writ petition even. Now we have felt driven to the wall and have to submit to
the fait accompli. One way is to toe the line of the High Court. The second one
is to demolish everything.
as we are at the writ petitioner choosing the year 1991 for moving the High
Court, when the answer books stood destroyed, we would rather opt for the
second course. The only hope of Srinivas to emerge innocent, on the destruction
of his answer books, stands destroyed. His despair has thus to be met in our
remaining masters of the situation.
cannot be forgotten that a writ petitioner who comes to the court for relief in
public interest must come not only with clean hands, like any other writ
petitioner, but must further come with a clean heart, clean mind and a clean
objective. We cannot assume that Dr R.M. Premchand, who at the relevant time
was a Research Scholar and part and parcel of the University, did not know the
regulations hereunder the answer books are destroyed within six months from the
examination under formal orders of the functionaries. We cannot assume that Dr
R.M. Premchand did not know about the destruction of the answer books of Srinivas
at the time when he moved the High Court in public interest. If this be our
impression Dr R.M. Premchand had no locus standi to move the High Court in
public interest at that belated point of time.
we allow the appeal of Srinivas, set aside the order of the Division Bench of
the High Court dated 17-12- 1993 in WA No. 53 of 1993 and restore the operative
part of the order of the Single Bench of the High Court, added with the ground
that Dr R.M. Premchand had no locus standi to move the High Court, in view of
the facts and circumstances aforementioned. As a sequel all remarks against
Professor K.V. Ramana in the judgment of the Division Bench of the High Court
not only get expunged but the whole basis on which they rest stands effaced.
His appeal too is allowed.
is the end result of both the appeals. There shall be no order as to costs.