Institute of Engineering and Technology & Anr Vs. Gagandeep Sharma & Anr
 Insc 459 (5
Bharucha, Y.K. Sabharwal & Ashok Bhan Y.K.Sabharwal, J.
Nos.1 and 2 in this appeal were admitted to four year Bachelor of Engineering
course in Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology in the academic year
said Institute and its Director are appellants before us. Their challenge is to
the judgment of the Division Bench of the High Court. The High Court, by the
impugned judgment, reversing the judgment of the learned Single Judge, has
declared that the respondents should be deemed to have passed the first year of
their respective course.
the appellants were directed to take immediate steps for allowing the
respondents to prosecute their studies in the second year.
the academic year 1997-98, Clause 17(a) of Schedule I of Academic Regulations
governing the appellant- Institute required a student of the first year to
repeat the examination if he fails to secure specified credits and/or specified
grade and on inability to secure specified grade after repeating, to leave the
Institution. The relevant part of Clause 17(a) at the material time in the
academic year 1997-98 was as follows :
A student will be required to repeat first year if
fails to earn 40% of the credits offered in the approved scheme of courses for
the first year; and/or
he secures a CGPA of less than 4.00 at the end of first year. However, while
repeating first year he will be exempted from repeating the courses in which
the grade earned is A, B or C in the earlier attempt.
student, after repeating first year under 17(a) is unable to secure a CGPA of
4.5, he will be required to leave the Institute." The level of performance
in the course on a 10 point scale, providing for grade point for purposes of
computing the Semester Grade Point Average (SGPA) and Cumulative Grade Point
Average (CGPA) is as follows :
Grade Performance Grade Point Average A Excellent 10 B Good 8 C Fair 6 D Poor 4
E Fail 2" By Notification dated 17/20th July, 1998, 14 students of B.E. of
1997 batch, including respondents, who had failed to secure the minimum
academic requirement in terms of Clause 17(a) were informed that they are
required to repeat first year during the session 1998-99.
the Institute by letter dated 24th February, 1999 advised the respondents to
put in maximum efforts and make up deficiency in the grades so as to continue
on the rolls of the Institute drawing their attention to the fact that if they
failed to meet the requirements as provided in Clause 17, they will be required
to leave the Institution.
were also advised to meet the Dean of Student Affairs/Dean Academic
Affairs/Student counselor and seek guidance in planning the studies.
respondents, in the academic year 1998-99 repeated and again appeared for the
first semester in the course in which they had secured either D or E grade
since the Regulations exempted students from repeating the course in which they
had secured either A or B or C grade.
No.1 repeated 11 papers and was exempted for appearing in one paper. Respondent
No.2 repeated 10 papers and was exempted from appearing in 2 papers having
secured B and C grade in those papers.
their repeated examination, it is not disputed, the respondents secured CGPA
below 4.5. Thus, by Notification dated 13th July, 1999, noticing that the respondents have
failed to attain the requisite CGPA and were required to leave the Institute, their
names were struck off from the rolls of the Institute.
respondents preferred a writ petition in the High Court seeking quashing of
Notification dated 13th
July, 1999 and
striking of their names from the rolls of the Institute and also a direction for
implementation of the amended Clause 17 in their case as well and allowing them
to advance to second year of B.E. course. The writ petition was dismissed by a
learned Single Judge. In appeal, however, reversing that judgment the Division
Bench, as earlier noticed, allowed the respondents to prosecute their studies
in the second year.
Division Bench came to the conclusion that the amended Clause 17 applies with
immediate effect to all the students and noticing that the amended Regulations
have reduced the percentage of the marks to be secured by the students, it was
held that the respondents could take advantage thereof and, thus, it was
declared that the respondents should be deemed to have passed the first year
amended Clause 17 of the Regulation was incorporated by the Institute in the
information Brochure for the academic year 1999-2000. The amendment had been
effected on 10th May,
1999. Under the
amended clause of the Regulation, the percentage required to be obtained by a
student was reduced and on failure to attain the minimum, students were
required to withdraw from the programme and leave the Institute. The relevant
part of the amended Clause 17 reads as under :
A student will be required to withdraw from the undergraduate programme and
leave the Institute.
at the end of first year, he/she is unable to secure a CGPA of greater than or
equal to 3.70 and earn 40% of the credits offered in the approved scheme of
at the end of second year, he/she is unable to secure a CGPA of greater than or
equal to 4.50 and earn 50% of the credits offered in the approved scheme of
the above Regulation reduces the percentage, it also provides that on failure
to secure the reduced percentage a student is required to withdraw from the
course and leave the Institute. In other words, it takes away the right of
repeating the papers which had been provided for in the unamended Regulation.
admitted facts, when the respondents joined the course in the academic year
1997-98 and also when they repeated the first semester, as noticed above, what
was in vogue was the unamended Regulation that permitted a student to repeat
the examination. The respondents did not make the required grade as per unamended
clause as reproduced earlier. Taking advantage of the unamended clause in the
Regulation, they reappeared but were unable to secure CGPA of 4.5. The
respondents, therefore, could not be permitted to continue with the course and
resultantly their names were removed from the rolls of the Institute on 13th July, 1999.
amended Regulation did not provide for repeat examination. The fact that in the
repeated examination, the respondents have obtained the CGPA as required by
amended clause of the Regulation is of no consequence since under the unamended
Regulation, they were required to secure CGPA of 4.5 and otherwise they were
required to leave the Institute. Admittedly, they could not secure CGPA of 4.5.
Their names were, thus, rightly struck off from the rolls of the Institute.
respondents cannot be heard to say that they should be allowed to repeat the
papers as is provided by unamended clause of the Regulation and should also be
allowed advantage of amended clause insofar as reduced percentage is concerned
despite the fact that the amended clause takes away the right to repeat the
learned Single Judge on correct interpretation of the Regulation rightly came
to the conclusion that the amended Regulation was not applicable and said that
under the amended regulation, the very concept of repeat year examination has
been done away with. Under the amended regulation, if a candidate fails to make
the requisite CGPA and credit percentage, he will be required to leave the
institute and discontinue his course. Furthermore, the term first year cannot
be construed to mean or include the repeat year examination on the true
interpretation of the relevant regulations and rules governing the subject.
regulation is made applicable from May 1999, the candidate obviously could not
have taken the repeat year examinations even because there would be no
re-appear examination as per the amended regulation.
the interpretation provided by the learned counsel for the petitioners leads to
an impossible situation which never existed in the facts and circumstances of
the present case, more particularly, when the petitioners has taken the first
year repeat examination voluntarily without prejudice under the old
regulation." The learned Single Judge further held that to prescribe the
academic standards falls exclusively in the domain of special bodies like
Senate, Board of Governors and Syndicate etc. The Court would normally not
interfere with such prescribed standards and especially when they are intended
to improve the academic standards in their respective institutes. The scope of
judicial review in such matters would be very limited.
the aforesaid circumstances, the Division Bench was clearly in error in coming
to the conclusion that the respondents could take advantage of unamended as
well as the amended Regulation. The Regulations do not provide for any option
as held in the judgment under appeal. The decision of the Division Bench
cannot, therefore, be sustained.
the aforesaid reasons, we set aside the judgment of the Division Bench and
restore that of the learned Single Judge and allow the appeal accordingly. The
parties are left to bear their own costs.