Karnataka Examination Authority cannot withhold student’s original documents in the absence of enabling rules: Karnataka HC

The Karnataka High court passed a judgement on 27.12.22 under Justice S Sunil Datt Yadav and Justice CM Joshi in Ankit Kumar & others v. State of Karnataka & Others(Writ Petition No. 25783 of 2022) directing the authorities to consider the petitioner’s representations for return of original documents and return them forthwith. ­


It is the case of the petitioners that respondent No.3 has withheld the original documents submitted by petitioners at the time of second round of counselling. It is submitted that the petitioners desire to participate in the counselling process elsewhere in other states and hence, desire to obtain the original documents that have been submitted. The petitioner had contended that in terms of Clause 4.2.4 of the University Grants Commission Notification of October 2018, there is an embargo on taking the certificates into the institutional custody under any circumstance or pretext. But the authority opposed the plea by giving the reasoning that the surrender of seats has the effect of depriving the other deserving meritorious students an opportunity and any permission granted for returning of original documents would encourage the practice of surrendering of seats of other meritorious students. This embargo would not apply to KEA.


UGC regulation refers to Higher Educational Institution and the retention of original certificates by them as also complaints regarding non-refund of fees.

“However, what would apply to higher educational institution would more so apply to the KEA. Unless there is a legal provision for withholding of original documents, the KEA also cannot withhold the documents. There is no rule shown to us, which provides that KEA could withhold the original records in the institutional custody.”

The court further said that KEA has not shown any rule which shows that KEA could withhold the original records in the institutional custody.

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