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Expressing “sympathy” towards a 26-year-old man who wanted to surrender his engineering degree because he had cheated in an exam, the Bombay High Court Thursday rejected his plea seeking review of an earlier order in which the court had scrapped his petition requesting for directions to Mumbai University to cancel his Bachelor of Engineering degree. The court said “while they sympathised with him, he could avail remedy in accordance to law and approach the Supreme Court”. A division bench of Justice Shantanu Kemkar and Justice M S Karnik had in October rejected Vaibhav Patil’s petition stating that there was no provision in the University Act through which the court could entertain the plea. Vaibhav, from Jalgaon, completed his engineering course with IT specialisation in 2011. But he did not take up any job because he could not get over the fact that he had cheated to obtain the degree.
He had failed in his Maths II paper in the first year and on his friends’ advice, paid an agent around Rs 20,000 to clear the subject. Vaibhav did not cheat after that and cleared all the subsequent exams. But he couldn’t deal with the fact that he had cheated and slipped into depression. His parents sought treatment for him and Vaibhav was put on a course of anti-depressants.
The court asked Vaibhav to put on record names of examiners who had helped him cheat, saying that they would not be able to help him out if he did not provide the required details. He, however, was unable to do so requesting the court to consider his plea as he had been unable to take up a job in the last seven-odd years. “Try forgetting what happened. We have full sympathy with the mental problems you are going through,” said Justice Kemkar while hearing the application seeking review of its earlier orders.