Three law students have approached the Bombay High Court seeking compensation of Rs 10 lakh each for the loss in educational and employment opportunities caused to them due to the inordinate delay by Mumbai University in declaring their results.
The petitioners — Sachin Pawar, Abhishek Bhat and Ravishekhar Pandey — have said because of the delay caused by the university’s new onscreen marking system, they have lost the chance to secure admissions in several national and international universities for their Masters of Law degrees since new academic sessions at most such universities have already begun. This has resulted in infringement of their fundamental rights and has caused them mental agony.
According to the petition, this is not the first time MU has caused a delay in declaring results. “Out of 388 examinations conducted by the respondent university in the second half of 2016, 210 results were declared after the expiry of the statutory period of 45 days, which is evident from the information received under Right to Information Act,” it stated.
Referring to the online marking process, the students claimed this initiative was expected to reduce the malpractice of tampering with answersheets. “However, the days, after the announcement was made, were marred by a series of delays —from the tendering process to setting up the evaluation system — which led to chaos like never before,” added the petition.
Pandey had applied to several foreign universities, one of them being the Queen Mary University of London for Masters in Law and the last date for submission of all necessary documents was July 31.
But due to the delay in declaration of final-year results, he claimed he had to forgo several opportunities for higher studies, which have not only adversely affected his career but has also left them in mental agony, claims the petition. “The petitioners were also prevented from preferring an application for an LLM from the national law universities,” the petition added.
Similarly, this delay has led to them being unemployed since law firms or counsels they have approached require an enrolment in the State Bar Council, which is again not possible as the petitioners are yet to receive their final result.
They have urged the court to ask the university to pay each of the petitioners an amount of Rs 10,00,000 by way of compensation on account of loss suffered due to loss of educational and employment opportunities and mental agonies suffered by them. They are further seeking constitution of a Commission of Inquiry under the chairmanship of a retired Judge of the Supreme Court or retired Chief Justice of the High Court to inquire into the causes of inordinate delay in declaration of results by MU.