Coming down heavily on the director and four other faculties of the Gujarat National Law University (GNLU), the High Court has affirmed the view of a petitioner student that the varsity denied students “basic human rights and natural justice”.
The judgment was delivered by Justice Z K Saiyed Wednesday on a petition moved by a student of the varsity whose result was held by the authorities following a complaint of malpractice during exam. The petitioner, Jaymin Brahmbhatt, had approached the High Court against the order of the varsity’s Executive Council.
The order describes that in November 2015, five minutes before the exam was to be over, the invigilator snatched the answer-sheet, alleging “Brahm-bhatt was hiding something…” In the judgment, the court has refrained from going into details of the facts “so as to preserve and protect the modesty and reputation of all involved.” The invigilator sought to frisk the petitioner who objected “to being frisked by Respondent No.5 (invigilator) – who was a member of the opposite gender in the interest of modesty.”
The petitioner was taken to the chamber of director Bimal Patel. Meanwhile, Brahmbhatt’s phone was seized by the faculties. His parents were asked to come to the varsity premises when the invigilator “changed her allegation and said that Brahmbhatt used his phone for malpractice during the exam”. After a thorough checking, nothing suspicious was found from the phone.
The judgment says it was the “Examination Committee” that was required to adjudicate the petitioner’s case. However, an ad hoc “Exam Inquiry Committee” was constituted, contrary to the rules.
The order states, “The Executive Council, comprising highly distinguished legal luminaries, was required to be the final decision-making authority in all disciplinary matters…for reasons not evident on record, the Respondent No. 2 (Patel) decided to bestow upon himself the powers of the Executive Council and approved the impugned decision himself instead of placing it before the Executive Council, as has been mandated under the Rules.”
Patel cancelled Brahmbhatt’s examination which the latter challenged in the court.
The judgment states, “All universities are cradles of the nation’s future. They are, therefore, required to conduct all acts in a highly bona fide and exemplary manner. This responsibility increases exponentially when the university is a premier National Law School imparting legal education to the nation’s future lawyers. How is a student of law expected to be a patron of justice when his university is the epitome of injustice?”