1. The petitioners are final M. B. B. S. Students of the Mysore University. They have moved this Court with a petition under Art. 226 of the Constitution praying for a writ or direction against the University to declare their results of the examination in subject, Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
2. The events leading up to the petitions are these: The academic term for the final M. B. B. S. Examination was between 1-1-1975 to 30-11-1975. As usual, the petitioners applied to take the examination on 11-10-1975, and the applications were forwarded to the University on 20-11-1975. Statutes 201 and 202 made under the Mysore University Act, 1956, provide that the applications of the candidates are to be scrutinised under the supervision of the Controller of Examinations and to assign the register number to each candidate. The register number so assigned is to be entered in the printed Admission Ticket to be delivered to the candidate. The Admission Ticket shall then be sent to the Chief Superintendent for being delivered to the particular candidate. After the above formalities were over, the Chief Superintendent issued the Admission Tickets to the petitioners on 22-1-1976. The Admission Ticket was one for the entire examination, which consisted of three subjects namely, Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
3. The petitioners had no shortage of attendance in the first two subjects. But, they had a little shortage of attendance in the third subject. This was said to have been brought to the notice of the petitioners while handing over the Admission Ticket.
4. As per the new Regulation for the M. B. B. S. Degree. Course, a student shall be considered to have completed the attendance for the subject if he has attended not less than 3/4th of the number of working periods in the subject with a satisfactory progress. There is no provision for condonation of shortage of attendance. Under the said Regulation, a candidate for the final examination shall be required to produce certificates, among others, of having attended a complete course of Lectures in all the three subjects including Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Admittedly, when the University approved the applications of the petitioners, there was no such certificate. There could not have been any such certificate because the academic term was not complete then. It was to complete only on 30-11-1975.
5. The petitioners had Admission Tickets and they appeared for the first two examinations without any trouble. On 29-1-1976 they took the examination in Obstetrics and Gynaecology under the following circumstances: It appears that the Principal intimated the University that the petitioners and one other student had been given Admission 'rickets, although they had shortage of attendance in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. A prominent person at Mysore played a dominant part on behalf of the petitioners. At about 10 O'clock in night on 28-1-76, he contacted the Vice-Chancellor with a request not to intercept the petitioners and one other student called Seshidar from appearing for the last examination. The Vice-Chancellor directed the Controller on the telephone the same night at about 10.30 p. m. to instruct the Principal to allow the petitioners to take the examination provisionally. On 29-1-1976, the Controller accordingly informed the Principal by telephone. The Principal thereupon took written undertakings from the petitioners. The petitioner in W. P. 4413 of 1976 gave an undertaking as follows :
Kindly permit me to take the examination provisionally pending the decision of University of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Examinations.
Sd/- Habibulla Sheriff.'
The petitioner in the other writ petition has written like this:
I am having shortage of attendance in Obstetrics and Gyanecology. I may be kindly permitted to take the examination and oblige me.
On the above letters, the Principal has endorsed as follows:
'As per telephonic instructions from the Controller of Examinations to-day, be is issued a hall ticket pending the decision of the University.
' The above endorsement does not correctly reflect the fact. There was no question of issuing hall ticket to the petitioners on 29-1-1976. The same had been issued to them on 22-1-1976.
6. By way of confirmation of the telephonic instruction, the Controller of the University wrote to the Principal on 29-1-1976 as follows:
'Sub. Final M. B, B. S. examinations-admission of candidates with shortage of attendance.
I am directed to advise you that those candidates for the Final MBBS examinations being conducted now who have shortage of attendance may be provisionally admitted to the examination subject to the condition - and the clear understanding thereon with the candidates - that their results will be announced only when the University requirements in terms of attendance etc. are satisfied or any shortage thereof is condoned by the appropriate authorities.'
The copies of the above letter in turn were forwarded to the Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gyanecology and also to the petitioners.
7. Now, I will refer to the letters exchanged between the Principal and the University, after the examination : On 2nd April 1976, the principal wrote to the Controller as follows :
Sub : Final M. B. B. S Examination-admission of candidates with shortage of attendance.
Ref: Your letter No. EX/16/75-76 dated 29-1-1976.
With reference to the above, I forward herewith the report received from the professor, and Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Medical College, Mysore to the effect that the following candidates have made up the shortage of attendance by attending Hospital in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology for needful.
1. Sri Habibulla Sheriff.
2. Sri Prabhakar.
The results of those candidates which were withheld may be announced.
Medical College, Mysore.'
In the above letter, the principal has informed the Controller that the petitioners have made up their shortage of attendance by attending Hospital in the Department of Obstetrics and Gyanecology. She has requested the Controller to announce the examination result which has been withheld. Again she wrote on 30th April 1976 as follows :
'Dated April 30, 1976.
University of Mysore,
Mysore 570 005.
Sub: Appeal for the announcement of result of Obstetrics and Gynecology of Reg. Nos. 2936 and 2955.
I am sending herewith a representation received from Mr. Habibulla Sheriff and Prabhakar stating that they have passed in Medicine and Surgery and the results are held up in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
The students are meritorious throughout their academic career and due to their ill-health, they had shortage of attendance in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the end of the course. They have made up the attendance, by attending special class and the certificates signed by Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology has been attached to it, and as such they have no shortage of attendance.
Hence I request you to release the results of Obstetrics and Gyanecology, as they will be losing the internship, which has already been started.
Sd/- Indira Amla'
8. In spite of the above repeated requests, the Controller did not act favorably. So, the petitioners are before this Court.
Before I proceed to consider the merits of the matter, it may not be out of place to refer to the equitable side of the case. The petitioners are meritorious students throughout their academic career. Due to their ill-health, they could not attend the required number of classes in Gynaecology, before the close of the academic term. They had, however, no shortage in the other subjects of Medicine and Surgery, They have already secured a high percentage of marks in those subjects. Even Though they fell short of the minimum attendance in Gynaecology, they appear to have performed equally well in that examination and hope to pass creditably. If they got through the Mi., B. B. S. Course in their first attempt, with academic distinctions, they will have undoubtedly a bright future, a fact which has not been disputed by learned counsel for the University.
9. Let us now see the legal aspect of the matter. It was urged for the petitioners that the University has no right to withhold their results when once they were allowed to take the examination upon the duly delivered Admission Ticket. It was also urged that in any event, the petitioners having produced the required certificates of attendance in Obstetrics and Gynecology, the University has no right to discard the said certificates and refuse to publish the result of their examination,
But it was urged for the University that the petitioners were not eligible to take the examination in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. The petitioners were informed about the shortage of attendance before they took the examination. They were permitted to take the examination provisionally pending decision of the University. The Certificates given by the concerned Professors were not relevant, as the shortage of attendance was made good only after the academic term was over.
10. In view of the peculiar circumstances of the case and the undertakings given by the petitioners on the date of the examination, I do not want to go into the larger question involved in the case, that is, whether the University has a right to withdraw the candidature after the Admission Ticket is issued to the candidate. I will examine the second contention urged for the petitioners, i. e., that the University has no right to discard the certificates given by the concerned Professors. The Regulation, no doubt, requires that a student &hall; be considered to have completed the attendance for the subject, if he has attended not less than 3/4th of the number of working periods in the subject. It also requires the candidate to produce a certificate of having attended a complete course of lectures in the concerned subject. The concerned professor must issue such certificate. Mr. Krishnamurthy, learned counsel for the University submitted that such certificates need not be produced at the time of applying for the examination but could be produced later. He is right in that submission because, the applications of the candidates are required to be forwarded to the University before the end of, the academic term. But Mr. Krishnamurthy said that any shortage of attendance must be made good before the academic term and not later and the certificates given by the concerned Professor in the present cases are therefore not relevant since the petitioners made good the attendance only after the academic term.
11. I fully understand the sense of grievance of the University, but it should not be carried too far to the detriment of the students. One must look to all the circumstances of the case. The unfortunate petitioners have undoubtedly made good the shortage of attendance after the academic term, by attending perhaps the special classes. The special classes were necessitated since the petitioners have already appeared for the examination and they were informed that their, results would be announced only when the University requirement in terms of attendance is satisfied. Accordingly, the principal of the College permitted the petitioners to take the examination. If the University had not so authorised, the Principal perhaps, might not have permitted the petitioners to take the examination. Having permitted them, she-also took care to see that the University requirements as to the attendance were complied with.
12. I do not find anything illegal in permitting the petitioners to attend special classes or clinics after the end of the academic term. The Regulation does not prohibit such a step. This is a case where the petitioners due to their illness, could not attend the required classes before the close of the academic term. But there may be a case, where a concerned professor for unavoidable reason could not hold the prescribed classes before the academic term. In such a case, all the students would be deprived of their legitimate right to appear for the examination for want of attendance. It would be the position if I accept the submission made by Mr. Krishnamurthy. I do not think that that was the intention of the Authority which made the Regulation. The students may not have a right to demand special classes, but the right of the Professor to hold special classes after the academic term with compulsory attendance to the students cannot be denied. In fact such a step is more proper if not a must, to comply with the provisions of the Regulation as to attendance or otherwise. The principle in the present case is in no way different, although the special classes were arranged in addition to the prescribed classes in the academic term. The Regulation, as I said earlier, does not prohibit the holding of any such special classes before or after the academic term. The principal and the Professor concerned in this case deserve appreciation for making the best of the situation in which the unfortunate petitioners found themselves. They have given the required certificates to the petitioners after making them to appear for the prescribed course of classes or clinics. The University has no right to discard those certificates unless it holds that they are false. No such contention is taken for the University.
13. In the result, the rule is made absolute. A direction shall issue to the University to Publish forthwith the result of the petitioners in the subject Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
14. The Petitioners are entitled to their costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 200/-. One set.
15. Rule made absolute.