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Deputy Shankar Rastogi Vs. Principal, S.M. College and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectConstitution
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 284 of 1958
Judge
Reported inAIR1962All207
AppellantDeputy Shankar Rastogi
RespondentPrincipal, S.M. College and anr.
Appellant AdvocateS.P. Kumar, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateK.B. Asthana, Adv.
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Excerpt:
.....merit. (the phrase 'favourite pupil' is well known in the educational world and no stigma will attach to it if it signifies that a teacher has affection for his best students, as drona charya had for arjuna). if the teachers decide that any student or class of students are deserving of special treatment or concession on the ground of illness, poverty, backwardness, genius, prowess in sports, or any other reason, their discretion in these matters must prevail......for his best students, as drona charya had for arjuna). if the teachers decide that any student or class of students are deserving of special treatment or concession on the ground of illness, poverty, backwardness, genius, prowess in sports, or any other reason, their discretion in these matters must prevail. within their own realm of education, the teachers must have a very wide scope for discretion which cannot be measured by any legal standards and with which the courts cannot interfere without upsetting the discipline on which the system of education must be founded.10. in this case, the appellant made reckless allegations against the principal which have been held to be untrue. this conduct in itself would be a ground for refusing him the relief prayed for even if he had any.....
Judgment:

S.S. Dhavan, J.

1. This is a second appeal by a student who was not promoted by the Principal of his college and then filed, a suit to compel the college to promote him. The facts are these. The plaintiff:, Deputy Shanker Rastogi, was in 1947 a student of the S.M. College, Chandausi in the Bachelor of Commerce, first year, class. He appeared in the first terminal examination and stood third in his class. He failed to appear in the annual examination and produced a medical certificate proving his inability to sit in the examination. Thirty five other students, like him, did not sit because of illness. All of them, with one exception, were asked to appear at a supplementary examination. An exception was made in favour of a student suffering from tuberculosis on humanitarian grounds and also because he was considered 'a very brilliant student''. He was promoted into fourth year class without being asked to take the supplementary examination.

2. All the students who were called upon to sit in the supplementary examination complied with the Principal's direction, but not the plaintiff. He insisted on being promoted without being required to take a supplementary test. On the refusal of the college to promote him, he filed the present suit. In his plaint he made serious allegations against the Principal and accused him of malicious motives, arbitrary conduct and discrimination. The plaintiff alleged that he had been singled out by the Principal for taking a supplementary examination during the summer vacation whereas another student was granted promotion on medical grounds.

He also claimed that he was entitled under the existing rules of the college to be promoted on the basis of the result of the last terminal examination. The plaintiff asked the Court to declare that he was a Fourth Year student of the Bachelor of Commerce class of the S. M. College, Chandausi and also prayed for an injunction restraining the Principal and the College, from interfering with in rights as a student to prosecute his studies in that class. The suit was resisted by the college which contended that the plaintiff had no cause of action whatsoever. According ft the defendants, the promotion of a student did not follow automatically from the result of the terminal examination. It was pointed out in the written statement that the plaintiff had not been declared failed but was merely asked to appear at a supplementary examination in July 1947, and as he had not presented himself for this examination he had forfeited the right to be promoted. The college offered to take him in the Third Year class if he was inclined to join it.

3. The college denied that there had been any discrimination against the plaintiff or in favour of any other student, It was admitted that one student who had not appeared in the annual examination on medical grounds was promoted to the Fourth Year class without being asked to take a supplementary test, but it was explained that this. student was 'very brilliant' and as he was suffering from tuberculosis the exemption was made in his favour by the Principal on humanitarian grounds as the shock of failure might have caused a set-back in his case. All the other students who did not appear in the second terminal (the annual) examination on medical grounds were asked to take a supplementary test in July 1947.

4. The trial court dismissed the plaintiffs suit and this decision was confirmed by the appellate court. The plaintiff's allegations of malice and arbitrary conduct against the Principal were disbelieved by both the courts. It was held that he had no legal right to demand promotion and the suit was dismissed as not maintainable. He has now come to this Court in second appeal.

5. I have heard Mr. S.P. Kumar, learned counsel for the appellant and gone through the entire record of the case. There is not the slightest merit in this appeal. The plaintiff filed a frivolous suit and made reckless allegations against his principal which have been disbelieved by both the courts below. I am inclined to agree with the view of the learned Additional Civil Judge that the plaintiff, somewhat too conscious of his status as a scion of an influential local family, wished to dominate over the college authorities and flouted his Principal's order by refusing to appear in the supplementary test.

6. The appellant did not appear in the annual examination, alleging illness. He was given an opportunity to appear in a supplementary test along with several other boys. He deliberately absented himself from this test and insisted on being promoted simply because another had been promoted without a test. The case of that student was different from that of the appellant and the courts have no jurisdiction to interfere with the discretion of the Principal in a matter which relates to the internal affairs of the school. There has been no violation of the law nor has the appellant produced any evidence of mala fides, arbitrariness Or discrimination against him.

7. As suits of this nature are becoming somewhat uncomfortably common, it is desirable to point out what legal rights can be claimed by a student against his college and what cannot. The relationship between a student and his teachers is only partly legal. Its entire content cannot be contained within contractual rights and obligations and in its vital aspects it transcends legal ties. No section of the Contract Act enjoins that the pupils shall treat their teachers with respect and yet reverence for the teacher has been the foundation of every educational system, ancient or modern.

8. Every student by the very act of joining a school or college accepts the fundamentals of the teacher-student relationship and submits to the discipline of the institute and of the head of that in situation and his teacher. No student can challenge a decision of his teachers however unpalatable it may be to him.

9. The college authorities must act bona fide and not capriciously and in running the institution they must observe the fundamental principles of our constitution. While punishing a student, they must observe certain standards of fairplay otherwise known as the principles of natural justice. There must be no violation of the law. Beyond this the jurisdiction of the law court ends. Every college or school has a wide discretion to adopt any rule or practice for the regulation of promotion from one class to another and the Head of the Institution has a discretion to make exemptions in favour of exceptional or deserving cases, or treat some of his students with deference on the ground of their merit. (The phrase ''favourite pupil' is well known in the educational world and no stigma will attach to it if it signifies that a teacher has affection for his best students, as Drona Charya had for Arjuna). If the teachers decide that any student or class of students are deserving of special treatment or concession on the ground of illness, poverty, backwardness, genius, prowess in sports, or any other reason, their discretion in these matters must prevail. Within their own realm of education, the teachers must have a very wide scope for discretion which cannot be measured by any legal standards and with which the Courts cannot interfere without upsetting the discipline on which the system of education must be founded.

10. In this case, the appellant made reckless allegations against the Principal which have been held to be untrue. This conduct in itself would be a ground for refusing him the relief prayed for even if he had any enforceable legal right. He has asked this Court to declare that he is a student of the fourth year class and to direct the college authorities not to interfere with his right to study in that class. But this Court, as a court of equity, will not exercise its discretion in favour of a student who by his demeanour in the suit itself has proved himself devoid of all sense of discipline. The Court will not impose on the college a student-teacher relationship when the student has destroyed the very foundation of this relationship by his open disrespect for the head of the institution and his very presence in the college will be subversive of discipline.

11. The defendant college had pleaded in its written statement that the suit was vexatious and frivolous. I am surmised that the Courts below did not award special costs under Section 35A. If ever there was a case for special costs, it was this.

12. The appeal is dismissed with costs.


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