Special Correspondent

High Court directs university to declare result of law student

“The inordinate delay not only resulted in grave prejudice to petitioner but she also suffered harassment and humiliation and underwent mental torture and agony”

CHENNAI: The School Education Department should prescribe a time limit for heads of institutions seeking verification of mark certificates for genuineness, the Madras High Court has ruled.

In a writ petition filed in 2002 by a law college student, whose results were withheld after her third year examinations in 2001, Justice K.N.Basha said “… it is high time for the authorities concerned to prescribe time limit to avoid inordinate delay in verification of the genuineness of the mark certificate…”

The student was admitted to the Madurai Law College for the five-year Bachelor of Law degree course for academic year 1998-1999, after she submitted a mark sheet with re-totalled marks. However, the college principal issued a show-cause notice on March 21, 2001 stating that the mark sheet was forged. After an enquiry, the principal cancelled her admission.

Following a writ petition filed by the student, she was allowed to write all the examinations in her third, fourth and fifth years, but her results were withheld.

After perusing the evidence, Justice Basha ruled that the principal had relied on a letter sent by the Joint Director of Government Examinations (Higher Secondary), dated March 3, 2001 to cancel the admission.

The principal “committed a serious error of law,” by placing the burden of proof of the genuineness of the certificate on the student.

No clarity on date

The judge also noted that the student had got admission to the course after writing the entrance examination in 1998. The mark sheet was said to have been sent for verification in February 1999, and there was no clarity on the date.

“Ultimately the petitioner who had completed two years of her course and was about to write her third year examination, received the show-cause notice dated March 21, 2001 alleging that the mark sheet produced by her was bogus… The inordinate delay in verification not only resulted in grave prejudice to the petitioner but she also suffered harassment and humiliation and underwent mental torture and agony.”

The court quashed the principal’s order and directed Tamil Nadu Dr.Ambedkar Law University to declare the result of the student from the third year onwards.

It ruled that she was entitled to get her degree certificate if she had passed her examinations.

Directive to Secretary

Following the order, the Court directed the Secretary, School Education Department, Government of Tamil Nadu, to take “immediate and effective steps” to prescribe time limit for heads of institutions sending mark certificates produced by students at the time of admission for verification of genuineness.