1. Km. Vandana Srivastava, the petitioner appeared at the Combined Pre-Medical Test of the year 1985 conducted by the University of Gorakhpur. She was given 23090 as her Roll Number. In September 1985, she received a letter from the M.L.N. Medical College, Allahabad, intimating that she had been selected for admission to the First Year Class of M.B.B.S. of the M.L.N. Medical College, Allahabad and for the purpose of physical fitness she was required to appear on 3-9-1985 at S.R.N. Hospital, Allahabad. She appeared for the medical test and was thereafter formally admitted after the necessary formalities. She claimed that she had started attending the classes as well.
2. On Spet. 11, 1985, a telegram was sent by the Under Secretary of the State of U.P. to the Principal. M.L.N. Medical College, Allahabad, that the petitioner's result had been wrongly declared treating her as of Scheduled Caste, hence her selection for admission in M.B.B.S. First Year was cancelled. Against this, the present writ has been filed.
3. Learned counsel for the petitioner urged that the respondents are estopped under the law to cancel the result of the petitionerwhen she had in pursuance of the admission made in M.L.N. Medical College, Allahabad, left her studies at Darbhanga and thus acted to her detriment. Counsel relied on a decision of this Court in Manoj Kumar Gupta v. Admission Committee, M.L.N. Engineering College, AIR 1985 All 257, and Achchey Lal v. Vice-Chancellor, Gorakhpur University, AIR 1985 All 1, Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh v. Sanjay Gulati, AIR 1983 SC 580, as well as on an unreported decision on the Bombay High Court given in Writ Petn. No. 54 of 1983, Miss Neelima Shailesh Acharya v. State of Maharashtra decided on 4th August, 1983, Krishnan v. Kurukshetra University AIR 1976 SC 376 and Dinesh Kumar v. Medical College, Allahabad, AIR 1985 SC 1059.
4. We have considered all of these decisions and also the principles applicable to a case like the present and are of the opinion that the submission made has no substance. It may be noted in the beginning that the petitioner appeared at the C.P.M.T. as a general candidate. She was not of a Scheduled Caste, and belongs to a higher caste. As such, her admission treating her as of a Scheduled Caste was obviously a mistaken one. The petitioner can be presumed, in the circumstances of the present case, to have knowledge of the fact that she had been admitted in M.B.B.S. on the wrong basis that she was of a Scheduled Caste. Admittedly on the basis of marks which she secured at the C.P.M.T. she was not entitled to admission in as much as there were 200 students above her, having secured higher marks. Her admission in M.B.B.S. First Year was due to the mistake treating her as of Scheduled Caste. Counsel urged that the mistake was that of the respondents, and that the petitioner had no hand in the same. She was misled and had to leave her studies and come to Allahabad, and, therefore, the petitioner could not be made to suffer for the mistake of the respondents.
5. Estoppel, which has invoked in the instant case, is a principale of equity. The petitioner could not get the benefit of this principle on the facts of the present case. One of the many things which have to be stated in negativing her claim of estoppel is that she knew that she was given admissionunder a mistake. She knew and can be presumed to have known that she could not be admitted as a general candidate because her marks were much less than the last candidate of the general category on the basis of the marks obtained. In the case of unilateral mistake it is clear that if one party to the knowledge of the other is mistaken as to the fundamental character of the offer if he did not intend, as the other well knew, there would be no need for any equitable relief. Such a representation would be a nullity and the person who has acted on it is not entitled to the benefit. The principles of estoppel in this case cannot apply as soon after the mistake was detected the petitioner's result was cancelled. The cancellation of the result is not mala fide or due to the picking out of the petitioner from the many. It appears from the telegram itself that apart from the petitioner, some other candidates of the general category had also been admitted treating them to be that of Scheduled Castes. When it was detected that they were not of Scheduled Castes, their admissions were cancelled immediately.
6. It may be noted in this connection that reservation was meant exclusively for Scheduled Castes and, therefore, if students of the general category are taken as against the reserved seats, Scheduled Castes candidates will suffer. That would be contrary to law and against the constitutional provisions contained in Article 15 of the Constitution.
7. So far as the cases relied upon by the learned counsel for the petitioner are concerned, none of them is applicable to the present case. In fact, Achchhey Lal v. Vice-Chancellor, Gorakhpur University (AIR 1985 All 1) (supra) instead of supporting the petitioner is against her. In this case, the Division Bench held that if admissions had been made by a Degree College affiliated to a University beyond the prescribed limit, the University would be within its rights not to permit the students to take up examinations. The High Court refused to entertain the writ petition as it held that it could not compel the University to increase the strength. The ratio of this case is that as the admission of students more than the prescribed limit was in contravention of the provisions of Section 28 of the U.P. State Universities Act, no relief could be given against the University.
8. In Sukhpal Singh Sharma v. Vice Chancellor, Gorakhpur University, 1982 UPLBEC 603 : (1982 All LJ 1021), a Division Bench of this Court held that there could be no estoppel against law, hence the Gorakhpur University could not be compelled by a direction to declare the result of the students whose admissions were unlawful.
9. The decision in Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh v. Sanjay Gulati (AIR 1983 SC 580) (supra) turned on its own facts. In that case, the Supreme Court found that nearly two years had elapsed since the beginning of the session, hence the University was directed to increase the strength. Their Lordships had not laid down any inflexible rule of universal application that in each case wherever the Court finds that admissions were wrongly granted to students, it must issue a Writ of Mandamous directing the authorities to increase the number of seats.
10. In the instant case also the learned counsel appearing for the petitioner urged before us that the State Government could be asked to admit the petitioner as a special case. To us it appears that this argument is falacious as it is not possible to give a direction of the nature claimed. The petitioner was a candidate of general category, and she secured marks much less than at which the last candidate of the general category was taken. In between her marks and the last candidate taken, there are more than 200 students. No favourable treatment can be given to the petitioner only because she happened to have approached this Court. The High Court does not discharge the function of an Admission Committee meant for admitting students in Medical Colleges or elsewhere. This is the function of the State Government and of the authorities created by the Statutes for the said purpose.
11. Manoj Kumar Gupta v. Admission Committee, M.L.N. Engineering College (AIR 1985 All 257) (supra) is a case on different facts. Nothing said in this case applies to the facts of the present case, hence it is not necessary for us to deal with that case.
12. Krishnan v. Kurukshetra University (AIR 1976 SC 376) (supra) was a case of different nature where although theattendance of a student was less than the prescribed, he was permitted to appear at the examination. The Supreme Court, on the facts of that case, held that the student of that case could be admitted although under the Regulations he was not entitled to the same. This decision of the Supreme Court is also of no help to the petitioner.
13. So far as the case of Miss. Neelima Shailesh Acharya v. State of Maharashtra (supra) is concerned, it may be pointed out that the petitioner of that case had passed the second M.B.B.S. and Final M.B.B.S. examinations of the Bombay University, hence it was thought to be unjust to deny to her the permission to appear at the next examination, and the Bombay High Court issued a Writ of Certiorari quashing the order cancelling the admission of the petitioner of that case. The following observations are useful and are, therefore, reproduced below : --
'Had the decision of the Medical Council of India taken on 31st Aug. 1980, been communicated to the State Government, the University or the College forthwith and, upon that basis, had the petitioner's provisional admission been cancelled, a different view might have been taken, but the failure of the Council to so communicate for some twenty months cannot be permitted to disquality the petitioner.'
14. In the instant case, the petitioner was asked to appear on 3rd Sept. 1985, and within a week of that date her admission was cancelled on 11th Sept. 1985, through a telegram. There was no delay.
15. Recently in Rajendra Kumar Gupta v. The Director of Industries. (Writ Petition No. 1164 of 1983, decided on 19-8-1985), a Division Bench of this Court had an occasion to consider the principle of estoppel. According to the view taken by the Division Bench in this case, the petitioner is not entitled to any relief being given in the present case.
16. The case of Dinesh Kumar v. M.L.N. Medical College, Allahabad, (AIR 1985 SC 1059)(supra). relied upon by the petitioner's learned counsel, has no relevance to the controversy in hand.
17. For the reasons given above, the writ petition is dismissed summarily.