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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Student - A fresh Mark Sheet not necessary to issue on improvement examination result when division not changed - “Whether Pandit Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur (the University) is liable to issue mark sheet to the students, who are permitted to appear in the examination for improving division of M.Com examination (the subsequent-examination) under Ordinance 24 of the University (the Ordinance), even if the division does not change?”= The High Court answered the question in the affirmative. We disagree. Ordinance No.24 of the University does not oblige it to issue a fresh mark sheet to a student who does not improve his division on taking a subsequent examination held for improving the division.= Ordinance No. 24 entitles a student to take a repeat examination only to improve the division obtained. If there is no improvement in the division after the repeat examination, there is no occasion for the University to issue a fresh degree to that candidate. The question of issuing a fresh mark sheet, if there is an improvement in the marks after the repeat examination, simply does not arise from the plain language and scheme incorporated in Ordinance No. 24. 19. Under these circumstances there is no option but to set aside the Judgment and Order passed by the High Court and allow this appeal. We do so but with no order as to costs.

                                     published in   http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgst.aspx?filename=40658       
       NON-REPORTABLE
                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                    CIVIL APPEAL NO.……6794………..  OF 2013
                  (Arising out of SLP(C) No. 14896 OF 2013)



Pt.  Ravishankar Shukla University & Anr.      …..Appellants

                                  Versus

Gopal Mishra                                  …..Respondent


                               J U D G M E N T


Madan B. Lokur, J.


1. Leave granted.

2.    In the judgment under appeal, the High Court  of  Chhattisgarh  framed
the following question for adjudication, namely:-
           “Whether  Pandit  Ravishankar  Shukla  University,  Raipur  (the
           University) is liable to issue mark sheet to the  students,  who
           are  permitted  to  appear  in  the  examination  for  improving
           division of M.Com examination (the subsequent-examination) under
           Ordinance 24 of the University  (the  Ordinance),  even  if  the
           division does not change?”



3.     The  High  Court  answered  the  question  in  the  affirmative.   We
disagree. Ordinance No.24 of the University does not oblige it  to  issue  a
fresh mark sheet to a student who does not improve his division on taking  a
subsequent examination held for improving the division.
4.    The respondent Shri Gopal Mishra completed  his  two  year  Master  of
Commerce course with an aggregate of 49.54% marks. This placed  him  in  the
second division as per Ordinance No. 24 of the University which  relates  to
the Master of Commerce examination.
5.    The Ordinance is in the nature of a composite scheme for  obtaining  a
degree of Master of Commerce.  It provides, inter alia,  for  improving  the
division obtained by a student based on the aggregate  percentage  of  marks
obtained by him/her by taking  a  repeat  examination  without  attending  a
regular course of study in a college affiliated to the University  or  in  a
teaching department of the University.
6.    The relevant clauses of the Ordinance relating to  the  division  that
may be obtained by a student and the procedure for  improving  the  division
obtained by him or her are given in Clauses 7, 8 and  9  of  the  Ordinance.
These read as follows:-
      “7.   For both the Previous  and  Final   examination  a     candidate
will be declared       successful if he/she  obtains at  least  36%  of  the
aggregate marks in the subject.

                       No division will be assigned on  the  result  of  the
           previous examination. The division in which a candidate is placed
           shall be determined on the basis of aggregate of  marks  obtained
           in both the M. Com Previous and M. Com Final Examination.


           8.     Successful candidates  who  obtain  60%  of  more  of  the
           aggregate marks shall be placed  in  the  First  Division,  those
           obtaining less than 60% but not  less  than  48%  in  the  Second
           Division and all other successful candidates obtaining less  than
           48% in the Third Division.


           9.     Candidates who have passed the M.Com  examination  of  the
           University in Third or Second Division and desire  to  appear  at
           the  M.Com  examination  for  improving  division  may,   without
           attending a regular course of study in a  college  affiliated  to
           the University or in a Teaching Department of the  University  be
           allowed to appear at the aforesaid examination as non  collegiate
           student on the following conditions.


             i) There shall be only two division for such  candidates  i.e.
                First Division and Second Division.  The marks required for
                obtaining these divisions shall be the same  as  prescribed
                in the Ordinance i.e. examinees who are successful in final
                of the examination and have obtained 60%  or  more  of  the
                aggregate of  the  marks  in  Previous  and  Final  of  the
                examinations taken together shall be placed  in  the  First
                Division and examinees who are successful in Final  of  the
                examination and have obtained less than 60%  but  not  less
                than 48% of the aggregate marks in Previous  and  Final  of
                the Examination taken  together  shall  be  placed  in  the
                Second Division.


            ii) The results of the candidates obtaining less  than  48%  of
                the  aggregate  marks  in  Previous  and   Final   of   the
                examination taken together shall not be declared.


           iii) Candidates shall have the option  to  appear  at  both  the
                Previous and Final Examination in one and the same year and
                for being successful at  the  examination,  the  candidates
                shall obtain 48% of the aggregate marks.


                Provided that such candidates who opt to appear in Previous
                and Final Examinations  separately  shall  have  to  obtain
                minimum aggregate required for the Previous examination but
                he will have to obtain at least 48% in the aggregate of the
                Previous and Final examinations taken together or else  his
                result will be cancelled.


            iv) The syllabus for the examinations  shall  be  the  same  as
                prescribed for the year in which the examination is held.


             v) Not more  than  two  attempts  shall  be  allowed  to  such
                candidates.  Failure or non-appearance at  the  examination
                after permission has been accorded by the University, shall
                be counted as an attempt.


                Provided however such candidates who opt to appear  at  the
                Previous and Final examinations separately will be  allowed
                one attempt at the Previous examination and two attempts at
                the Final examination.


            vi) Candidates who wish  to  avail  the  opportunity  given  in
                foregoing para’s will  have  to  apply  for  permission  as
                required in the Ordinance relating  to  Admission  of  non-
                collegiate students to  the  University  examination  along
                with requisite Registration Fees.


           vii) In case a student improves his division under provision  of
                this para, the fresh degree will be issued after cancelling
                his first degree.”


7.    As mentioned above, Mishra obtained 49.54% marks which places  him  in
the second division.  Since he was desirous of  improving  his  division  by
obtaining a first division, he appeared in a repeat examination  as  a  non-
collegiate student in March 2010.    After  he  took  the  examination,  his
result was not declared.  This led him to file a writ petition in  the  High
Court of Chhattisgarh for a declaration of his result and for  the  issuance
of a mark sheet based on the result of  the  repeat  examination.  The  writ
petition was disposed of by a learned Single Judge by an  order  dated  29th
September, 2011 in which it was held, inter alia, that in  the  present  age
of transparency there is no reason to conceal the marks obtained  by  Mishra
in the repeat examination.   Accordingly,  a  direction  was  given  to  the
University to supply the marks obtained by Mishra in the repeat  examination
held in March, 2010.
8.    In compliance with the orders passed by the learned Single  Judge  the
University did intimate to Mishra the marks he had  secured  in  the  repeat
examination, but that was in the form of a letter. No formal mark sheet  was
issued to him.
9.    Mishra was of the view that the University had committed  contempt  of
the orders of the learned Single Judge by not issuing a  fresh  mark  sheet.
Accordingly, he moved  a  contempt  petition  which  was  dismissed  by  the
learned Single Judge on 31st January, 2012 holding that the  University  was
obliged only to intimate the marks obtained by Mishra but  was  not  obliged
to issue a fresh mark sheet.
10.   In view of the above, Mishra filed another writ petition in  the  High
Court, for the issuance of a fresh  mark  sheet.   That  writ  petition  was
withdrawn on 3rd September, 2012 with  liberty  to  take  recourse  to  such
other forum as may be available to him under the provisions of law.
11.    Mishra then filed an application for review of the order  dated  29th
September, 2012 passed in the writ petition.  The  application  came  to  be
disposed of by the learned Single Judge on 16th January, 2013,  inter  alia,
with the following observations:-
      “By this petition, the petitioner seeks  modification  of  the  order
      dated 29.09.2011 to the extent  that  the  respondent  University  be
      directed to issue a fresh/new mark sheet to the  petitioner  for  the
      repeat M.Com (Previous  &  Final)  examination.  This  tantamount  to
      attempt of the petitioner to seek opportunity  to  argue  the  entire
      case  afresh  under  the  garb  of  review  petition,  which  is  not
      permissible and tenable in law.   This  review  petition  is  in  the
      nature of appeal, which cannot be  considered  and  decided  by  this
      Court”.

12.   Thereafter, Mishra preferred an intra-court appeal against  the  order
dated 29th September, 2012 and the order  dated  16th  January,  2013.   The
appeal was disposed of by the Division Bench of the High Court by the  order
under appeal dated 20th February, 2013.
13.   In our view, Ordinance No. 24 prescribes a scheme  which,  inter  alia
enables a student to improve the division obtained by  him  or  her  in  the
Master of Commerce examination.  The Ordinance  does  not  postulate  giving
the student an opportunity  merely  for  improving  the  marks  without  any
improvement in the division obtained.  Were this so,  the  language  of  the
Ordinance would have been explicit and would have clearly spelt out that   a
student could appear in a repeat examination not only for  the  purposes  of
improving the division obtained by him or her but even for the  purposes  of
improving the marks.
14.   Factually, Mishra improved upon the marks  earlier  obtained  by  him.
But he did not improve  his  division  despite  the  improvement  in  marks.
Since Mishra did not improve his division, he was not entitled  to  a  fresh
degree in terms of Clause 9 (vii) of the Ordinance. As mentioned above,  the
Ordinance does not postulate any obligation on the  University  to  issue  a
fresh mark sheet.
15.   Learned Counsel sought to draw support  from  the  conclusion  of  the
High Court that nothing prohibited the University from issuing a fresh  mark
sheet.  While this may  be  so,  there  is  equally  no  obligation  on  the
University to issue a fresh mark sheet, nor does Mishra have  any  right  to
obtain a fresh mark sheet from the University merely because his  marks  had
improved in the repeat examination. The submission of learned  counsel  does
not advance Mishra’s case in any manner.
16.   The High Court concluded  that  the  word  “division”  includes  marks
also.  We are unable to accept this conclusion.  It is quite  clear  from  a
reading of Clause 8 of the Ordinance that there are three divisions  that  a
student can obtain on the basis of the  aggregate  marks:  those   obtaining
more than 60% aggregate marks  are  placed  on  the  first  division;  those
obtaining less than 60% aggregate marks but  not  less  than  48%  aggregate
marks are placed in the second division and all other successful  candidates
obtaining less than 48% marks (and obtaining at least 36%  aggregate  marks)
are placed in the third division.  If the  word  “division”  is  to  include
marks, as held by the High Court, some  of  the  clauses  in  the  Ordinance
would lose their substance and meaning and the entire concept  of  divisions
as against marks would be rendered meaningless.
17.   Learned counsel for Mishra pointed out  that  Clause  9  (ii)  of  the
Ordinance provides that the results of candidates obtaining  less  than  48%
of the aggregate marks  taken  together  shall  not  be  declared.   It  was
submitted on this basis that the results of candidates obtaining  more  than
48% in the aggregate taken together (such as  in  Mishra’s  case)  shall  be
declared. It is difficult to accept the relevance of this  contention  since
it is not in dispute that  Mishra’s  results  were  declared  in  the  first
instance and the marks obtained  by  him  in  the  repeat  examination  were
communicated.
18.   Ordinance No. 24 entitles a student to take a repeat examination  only to improve the division  obtained.   If  there  is  no  improvement  in  the division after  the  repeat  examination,  there  is  no  occasion  for  the University to issue a fresh degree to  that  candidate.    The  question  of issuing a fresh mark sheet, if there is an improvement in  the  marks  after the repeat examination, simply does not arise from the  plain  language  and scheme incorporated in Ordinance No. 24.
19.   Under these circumstances there is no option  but  to  set  aside  the Judgment and Order passed by the High Court and allow this  appeal.   We  do so but with no order as to costs.



                                                             …..……………………..J.
                                            (R.M.Lodha)






                                         ….……………………..J.
    New Delhi;                                         (Madan B. Lokur)
August 16, 2013






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