By: Aparajita Patel
Normally, the Court “would be reluctant to engage in disciplinary problems of educational institutions, and if at all, the universities should be entitled to set its own house in order in its own way,” according to Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy.
However, the Supreme Court noted that when matters progress beyond a certain point, judicial action is required, which appears to be the case in this case.
At the same time, the Court cautioned that it should not be seen as encouragement for students to believe they can seek legal recourse if they break the rules.
“We would reflect the fact that we do not encourage pupils to believe that they would be able to seek judicial remedy if they break the rules,” the Court stated.
While rejecting the university’s appeal, the Supreme Court stated that the law student would now be allowed to enrol in the fifth semester if he or she had not already done so.
The NLSIU appealed a judgement issued by the Karnataka High Court’s Division Bench, which had upheld orders issued by a single judge of the High Court.
Hruday PB, a student who was denied entrance to his fourth-year BA LLB programme due to alleged plagiarism in his project work, received relief from the single-judge.
The student had received a ‘F’ mark from the university because he had plagiarised the project.
The student, who is the son of Justice PB Bajanthri of the Karnataka High Court, received a “F” in Child Rights Law.
He was also barred from taking the third trimester’s Special Repeat Examination for promotion to the fourth year.
In November 2020, a single court overturned NLSIU orders, ruling that the petitioner should have been granted a personal hearing before any order was made.
While acknowledging that NLSIU was a renowned institution, the Supreme Court remarked that formalities were not followed when the student was denied promotion.