The Gujarat High Court affirms the judgement of the examination committee to cancel the final test of a law student at Nirma University for using unfair techniques

Karthik Deepak Sharma Vs Director General, Nirma University

Date : 28/03/2023

R/Special Civil Application No. 3752 Of 2023


The Single-Judge Bench of Sangeeta K. Vishen, J., rejected the petitioner’s request to be permitted to appear in the examination and held that using unfair means in examination is a misconduct while hearing an application in which the petitioner was penalised and the result of all the examinations of semester VII of B.Com. LL.B. (Hons.) December 2022 was cancelled by Examination Reforms Committee for using unfair means in Taxation Law examination.


The petitioner had appeared in the semester VII examination of Law of Taxation and was found with 19 printed materials, as an outcome, the result of all the examinations attended by the petitioner were declared cancelled by the Examinations Reforms Committee.

The Court noted that Section 2 of the Rules and Regulations booklet issued by Nirma University/respondent is pertinent for application to the matter at hand; it addresses academic dishonesty at examinations, tests, and assignments and sanctions in cases of using unfair means; the nature of the sanctions is the cancellation of the results of all examinations for the relevant courses. It was also observed that the petitioner was caught using a mobile device in the exam room, which is expressly forbidden by the academic regulations, while taking the Family Law II end-of-semester exam for Semester VI. He said that he accidentally left his phone in his pocket but realised it right away and handed it over to the security guard.


The Court said that the petitioner’s act of possessing 19 printed materials in the semester end examination of Law of Taxation, was a second-time misconduct. The Court further stated that the petitioner overlooked that simply owning a mobile phone constitutes misbehaviour, for which the punishment specified is the cancellation of all examination results in accordance with the rules and regulations of the educational institution.

As a result, the Court ruled that the petitioner had engaged in misconduct by possessing an electronic device, regardless of whether it was being used or not. Hence, Nirma University had every right to rely on Regulation 5(iv), and all of the examination results for the relevant courses were voided. Therefore, there is no justification for any type of temporary protection that would let the petitioner to take the exam.

The Court interpreted Regulation 3 and suggested that if the student is found possessing any kind of electronic devices, during the examination irrespective of whether it was used or not used, the same was termed to be a misconduct and,thus, one is not to go only by the penalty imposed but the nature of the malpractices committed by the petitioner as well…. 

Thus, the Court rejected the petitioner’s application to allow him to appear in the examination.


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