Will Estoppel Apply In Favour Of Person Who Unaware Of Failure In Intermediate Exam Gets Higher Education, Job? Orissa HC 

The Orissa High Court’s Full Bench (in case of Litumanjari Pradhan v. Chairman, Council of Higher Secondary Education) which is made up of Chief Justice Dr. S. Muralidhar, Dr. Justice Sanjeeb Kumar Panigrahi, and Justice Murahari Sri Raman, reserved judgment in a case referred by a Division Bench to determine the accuracy of a decision made by another Division Bench, which held that the rule of estoppel will apply in favor of a person who enrolls in higher education and joins the workforce despite not knowing he failed.


In the current instance, the petitioner took the +2 CHSE Examination in 1996, and she was given a mark sheet indicating that she received a total of 35 out of “200” points, or 14 in the English Paper-1 and 21 in the English Paper-II. She received 80 out of 200 points for the topic “Education” after earning 16 in Paper I, 26 in Paper II, and 38 in the practical. However, she opted to solely take the English paper in the compartmental test, which she passed with a score of 60. She then registered and passed the Sambalpur University +3 Examination. But later, when she attempted to enroll in a B.Ed. program, it was discovered that she had failed the subject “Education.” The Council consequently refused to award the original certificate. 


After enrolling in higher education and passing the exam held by Sambalpur University, she filed a writ suit with the High Court asking that it direct the opposing parties to provide her the original pass certificate for the CHSE examination. She argued that because she was unaware that she had failed the subject “Education,” the Council could not now revoke her certificate at such a late date. The Single Judge had ruled that if the authority had made a mistake, the petitioner could not be made to suffer as a result, and she had instructed the Council to take the necessary actions to allow the petitioner to sit for the exam and pass it in order to receive a pass certificate. Because of his displeasure with the Single Judge’s decision, the petitioner requested an internal appeal before a Division Bench. The Bench was presented with the decision made in Nrusingha Charan Panda v. The Secretary, Board of Secondary Education, Orissa & Anr., 74 (1992) CLT 350 by another Division Bench of the High Court.

On Wednesday, the Full Bench gathered to hear the reference. In order to persuade the Bench that the law of estoppel would apply even though the petitioner was unaware that she had failed the “Education” paper and had already completed her higher education, the petitioner’s attorney cited numerous High Court rulings.

However, Justice Panigrahi questioned the lawyer on behalf of the bench as to whether the petitioner had actual information that she had not received enough marks to pass the test. The lawyer gave a negative response in response. However, the Bench refused to accept that the petitioner was actually uninformed.

Furthermore, these elements “cannot be changed by a Court also,” Chief Justice Muralidhar said. This cannot be done. Absolutely no estoppel exists in these situations. You are capable of knowing it. You are shown your grades. Your English mark is shown. You understand your failure. For the compartmental (examination), you show up. Your grades in education are displayed. You decide not to accept it. The issue is that.


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