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Students Should Be Given Opportunity To Reform, Instead Of Punitive Punishment: Allahabad High Court

CASE TITLE:   Prakhar Nagar vs. State of UP & 4 Others 2023 LiveLaw (AB) 244 [Writ C No. 21339/2020]

DECIDED ON: 02.08.2023

CORAM: Hon’ble Ajay Bhanot,J

INTRODUCTION

The Allahabad High Court has emphasized that universities should refrain from implementing solely punitive measures towards students. According to the court, students, being young adults, deserve a chance for rehabilitation and personal growth.

FACTS

The petitioner, a student pursuing B.Tech (CSE), faced accusations of various acts of misconduct, which included engaging in morally questionable behavior, involvement in corruption or bribery, disrupting the university’s academic operations, and actions related to exams and tests. In the beginning, the petitioner was expelled from the institution for six months; however, this duration was lessened to three months upon appeal.

The legal representative for the petitioner contended that the allegations made against the petitioner were unclear and lacked specificity. There was no supporting evidence provided to substantiate the decision to expel the petitioner. Furthermore, it was argued that the punishment imposed was disproportionate. Additionally, it was highlighted that the petitioner was never officially provided with the charge sheet, which violated the fundamental principles of fairness and justice.

On the other hand, the legal representative for the respondent argued that the punishment was administered following a thorough investigation. Given the seriousness of the charges, the decision to expel the petitioner was justifiable.

CASE ANALYSIS AND DECISION

The Court noted that the respondent university was incapable of disproving the allegation of disregarding principles of natural justice. The unfavorable evidence on record failed to substantiate the accusations against the petitioner. The Court expressed, “The harm caused to the petitioner due to the respondents’ adopted procedure is irreversible.”

“The structure of disciplinary measures in a higher education institution is an essential aspect of its management. The system of penalties within an organization must combine fundamental components to uphold order in the University, which contributes to its academic environment, and a rehabilitative strategy that plays a crucial role in shaping students. The fundamental aspect of a proficient disciplinary system is achieving equilibrium between acting as a deterrent and offering the potential for reform.”

Drawing from a prior verdict, Anant Narayan Mishra v. Union of India, the Court upheld the stance that students shouldn’t exclusively face punitive measures. If any punitive action is taken, it should encompass a reformatory perspective.

While granting the student’s plea and annulling the punishment, the Court declared that students, as young adults, should be granted an opportunity to rectify any mistakes and embark on a fresh journey with a clean record.

“The imposition of excessive punishment undermines the validity of punitive measures,” the Court stated.

Furthermore, the Court endorsed the request for the issuance of a revised marks sheet that reflects the petitioner’s performance assessed out of 100 marks. The Court also ordered the removal of the “Reappearance September 2020” notation and the removal of the B Cap on the petitioner’s earned marks.

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Written by- Mansi Malpani

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Schools are prohibited from denying admission to children in the EWS/DG class on unreasonable considerations after being allotted by the Department of Educational Institutions: High Court of Delhi

Title: SHAHNAZ KHATOON & ORS. v. GD GOENKA PUBLIC SCHOOL

Decided on: 31 st May, 2023 & 1st June, 2023 CONT.CAS(C) 83/2022

CORAM: HON’BLE MS. JUSTICE MINI PUSHKARNA

Introduction

According to Justice Mini Pushkarna, the court cannot overlook the reality that underprivileged sectors of society must be given equal opportunity to advance in life. “This includes giving students from disadvantaged groups as well as financially backward classes the opportunity to learn in schools alongside kids from other backgrounds so that they can be members of the mainstream of society,” the court stated.

 It went on to say that if admissions are denied to candidates under the EWS or DG category on unfair grounds, the limited seats available under the category will be wasted. “Such a situation shouldn’t be allowed, as every vacant seat against the EWS/DG quota represents a denial of quality education to a child from a poor stratum of society,” it said.

Facts of the Case

The statements were made by the court while hearing a contempt petition filed by three children against GD Goenka Public School for failing to comply with an order requiring it to admit them to class 1 under the EWS/DG category.

 The pupils were successful in the Delhi Government’s Directorate of Education’s lotteries and were assigned to the school in question, but they were denied admission due to several concerns expressed by the institution. The court granted the petitions and directed the petitioner students to reach out to the school within a week’s duration to seek enrollment in Class 1 under the EWS or DG category. “The defendant school is directed to right away handle the documentation as accepted by means of the petitioner and grant enrollment under the EWS or DG category for Session 2023-2024.

Courts Analysis and Decision

Rejection of enrollment to a kid in the EWS or DG category, according to Justice Pushkarna, would violate such children’s rights under Article 21A of the Indian Constitution as well as their rights within the Constitution’s Right to Education Act 2009.

“The defendant school cannot shirk its duties under Article 21A of the Indian Constitution, which imposes an unambiguous responsibility on the State to deliver free and compulsory schooling to all children aged 6 to 14 years as a vital right,” the court stated. It further stated that under the RTE Act, the institution is required to reserve 25% of its seats with the available or reported strength of its entry-level courses.

 Notifications of Recovery for a Larger Pension Noting that the DOE receives an enormous number of applications under the EWS or DG category and that seats are very limited, Justice Pushkarna stated, “Thus, once an institution has been properly provided by the Department of Education to a candidate for enrollment under the EWS/DG category, the educational institutions cannot deny entrance to students under the EWS/DG category by raising such objections.”

Judgement

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Written by- Anushka Satwani