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Anil Kumar Srivastava Vs. University of Allahabad and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectConstitution
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Misc. Writ No. 2455 of 1972
Judge
Reported inAIR1973All442
ActsEvidence Act, 1872 - Sections 115
AppellantAnil Kumar Srivastava
RespondentUniversity of Allahabad and anr.
Appellant AdvocateG.P. Mathur, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateG.P. Singh, Adv. and ;Standing Counsel
DispositionPetition allowed
Excerpt:
.....not after his having completed final course as per requirement prohibit him from appearing in the final examination pleading that he did not pass the earlier examination and university is estopped from taking up the stand. - - final (mathematics) examination conducted by the allahabad university, which was due to commence on 15th of april, 1972. on 13th of april, 1972 the registrar of the university informed him that he could not appear in the examination as he had failed in the m. (final) examination as he had failed to pass the m. (final) examination on the ground that he had failed to pass the m. as a matter of fact the petitioner had failed in the m. as the petitioner had failed in the m. (previous) examination for the year 1971 and whether in the circumstances of the case the..........a plea would be to create a situation where the petitioner will be able to appear in the m. sc. final examination even though he has failed in m. sc. (previous) examination, a situation which is prohibited by the statute. it is true that the rule of estoppel does not operate against the directions and prohibitions enacted by the statute law and against the rights accruing to any party by reason of such directions and prohibitions. however, in this case, the plea of estoppel, relied upon by the petitioner, is not directed against any direction or prohibitions enacted by the statute law. the petitioner does not contend that any representation was made by the university contrary to the ordinance which provides that ,a candidate can appear in the m. sc. (final) examination only after he.....
Judgment:
ORDER

H.N. Seth, J.

1. Petitioner Anil Kumar Srivastava, wanted to appear at the 1972 M.Sc. Final (Mathematics) Examination conducted by the Allahabad University, which was due to commence on 15th of April, 1972. On 13th of April, 1972 the Registrar of the University informed him that he could not appear in the examination as he had failed in the M.Sc. (Previous) examination held in the year 1971. Being aggrieved by the action of the respondents, the petitioner filed the present petition under Article 226 of the Constitution on 14-4-1972, claiming a writ of Mandamus, commanding the respondents to permit him to appear in the M.Sc. (Final) examination and to declare his result.

2. While admitting the writ petition this Court directed the respondents to allow the petitioner to appear at the 1972 M. Sc. (Final) examination, but made it clear that declaration of petitioner's result would be subject to the ultimate decision in the writ petition-According to the petitioner, he appeared in the M. Sc. (Previous) Mathematics Examination conducted by the University of Allahabad in April/May, 1971 and his roll No. was 229. In due course the result of the M.Sc. (Prey.) examination was pasted on the notice board and was also published in the Northern India Patrika, showing that the petitioner has been successful in the M. Sc. (Prev.) examination. The University also issued a mark-sheet, dated 2nd of July, 1971, to him, showing that he had passed the M. Sc. (Prev.) examination. (Annexure 'A' to the writ petition). Thereafter, the petitioner joined the M. Sc. (Final) classes and attended them regularly. As the mark-sheet issued to him showed that he had received marks much below his expectations in two of the papers, he applied for scrutiny of his answer books of those two papers. In the application for scrutiny, it was specifically mentioned that he had been successful in the examination. On 11th of August, 1971. he was informed that scrutiny of his answer books did not reveal mistake and that his result remained unaltered. In due course, the petitioner made an application for appearing at the 1972 M. Sc. (Final) examination which was due to commence from 15th of April, 1972. When the petitioner went to take his admit card on 12th of April, 1972. he was informed that it had been withheld. He immediately contacted the Assistant Registrar of the University and was told that he could not appear in the M. Sc. (Final) examination as he had failed to pass the M. Sc. (Prev.) examination. The petitioner then approached the Registrar on 13th of April, 1972 who also expressed his inability to permit the petitioner to appear in the M. Sc. (Final) examination on the ground that he had failed to pass the M. Sc. (Prev.) examination. According to the petitioner, he had passed the M. Sc. (Prev.) examination as was evident from the mark-sheet issued to him and the Registrar of the University had no jurisdiction to prevent him from appearing In the 1972 M. Sc. (Final) examination.

3. The petition has been contested on behalf of the University of Allahabad. Stand taken by it is that when the result of 1971 M. Sc. (Prev.) examination in Mathematics was declared, it was shown that petitioner's result had been withheld on account of nonpayment of dues and he was not declared to have passed the examination as claimed by him. A mark-sheet was issued to him after he cleared his dues. As a matter of fact the petitioner had failed in the M. Sc. (Prev.) examination as he secured only 170 marks out of 500 marks. However, by mistake, in the mark-sheet issued to the petitioner the marks obtained by another candidate bearing roll No. 230 were mentioned, This mistake was discovered when petitioner's application for appearing in M. Sc. (Final) examination was being scrutinised. As the petitioner had failed in the M. Sc. (Prev.) examination, he could not be permitted to appear in the M. Sc. (Final) examination.

4. At the hearing of the petition, learned counsel appearing for the petitioner accepted the stand taken by the University that when the result of the M. Sc. (Previous) was published in Northern India Patrika, it was mentioned that petitioner's result had been withheld. He, however, disputes the stand taken by the University that there Were any dues of the University or that the mark-sheet was issued to him in the month of July only after he cleared them. This controversy was raised by the petitioner merely for substantiating his case that when the result of M. Sc. (Prev.) in Mathematics was announced. he was shown to have passed. In view of the fact that petitioner's counsel conceded before me that his result had in fact been withheld it is unnecessary for me to go into the controversy whether there were any dues against the petitioner and the mark-sheet was issued to him after the same were cleared. Learned counsel for the University was not able to point out any rule prescribing as to how the result of a candidate which has been withheld is to be declared or published subsequently. In the circumstances I take it that the result of a candidate, which is withheld for some reasons, is declared by the University when it issues the mark-sheet to the candidate concerned. Position in this case therefore is that petitioner's result for M. Sc. (Previous) examination had been declared and he was shown to have passed the examination. This declaration of result, according to the University was made under a mistake end the University was not bound by it.

5. Part (E) of Chapter XXXV of the Calendar of the Allahabad University (1968), states some of the ordinances, framed by the Executive Committee, concerning the degree of Master of Science. At page 281 of the Calendar it is mentioned that a candidate who, after passing the Previous M. Sc. examination has completed a regular course of study in the University, shall be admitted to the examination for the degree of Master of Science at the end of the academical year in which he has completed such course of study. There is no dispute in this case that during the academic year 1971-72 the petitioner did complete a regular course of study for appearing in the M. Sc. (Final) examination. Main dispute between the parties, is whether or not the petitioner had, passed the M. Sc. (Previous) examination for the year 1971 and whether in the circumstances of the case the respondent can be permitted to take up the stand that the petitioner had failed in his M. Sc. (Previous) examination and the declaration that he had passed the examination was factually wrong.

6. Although, when the result of the M. Sc. (Previous) examination was announced, petitioner's result had been withheld, but it was declared when in the month of July, 1972, a mark-sheet (Annexure 'A' to the writ petition), showing that he had passed the M. Sc. (Previous) examination was issued to him. He suspected that there was some mistake in the mark shown to have been secured by him in IInd and IIIrd Papers. Accordingly on 12-7-1971 he made an application to the University stating that he had passed in the M. Sc. (Previous) Mathematics examination 1971 and that he wanted to get his answer books of IInd and IIIrd Papers scrutinised (Annexure 'R2' to the counter-affidavit). Thereupon by means of a letter dated August 5/10, 1971 the University informed him that there was no mistake in the marks secured by him and as such his result remained the same. (Annexure 'B' to the writ petition). Since the application for scrutiny, made by the petitioner, indicated that he had passed the M. Sc. (Previous) examination, the contents of the letter dated 5/10th August, 1971 amounted to a further xepresentation on the part of the University that the petitioner had passed the M. Sc. (Previous) examination. Acting upon the representations contained in the mark-sheet issued by the University, as also in the letter dated 5/10th August, 1971, the petitioner pursued a regular course of study for M. Sc. (Final) examination for the year 1972, after paying necessary fees etc. which the University accepted. As a result of the aforesaid representations he could not and did not pursue the study for purposes of reappearing in the M. Sc. Previous examination. By the time he was told that he had failed in the M. Sc. (Previous) examination for the year 1971, he had already been placed in a situation where he could not possibly appear in the M. Sc. (Previous) examination for the year 1972 examination. It is not disputed that if in the month of July 1971 the petitioner had been told that he had failed in M. Sc. (Previous) examination he could have reappeared in that examination in the year 1972. When in April, 1972 the petitioner was told that he had failed in 1971 M. Sc. Previous examination, it was neither possible for him to make an application for appearing in 1972 M. Sc. Previous examination nor to prepare the papers of that examination in such a short time. Even assuming that there was some mistake on the part of some one in issuing the mark-sheet to the petitioner, it is obvious that he was not aware of that mistake. In the circumstances, the principle underlying Section 115 of the Indian Evidence Act, which runs thus:--

'When one person has. by his declaration, act or omission intentionally caused or permitted another person to believe a thing to be true and to act upon such belief, neither he nor his representative shall be allowed, in any suit or proceeding between himself and such person or his representative, to deny the truth of that thing.' comes into operation and the University is estopped from taking up the stand that the petitioner had failed in the 1971 M. Sc. (Previous) examination.

7. Shri G. P. Singh. learned counsel appearing for the University contended that the rule of estoppel under Section 115 of the Evidence Act does not and cannot operate against the provisions of a Statute. The ordinances framed under the Allahabad University Act clearly indicate that a candidate can appear at the M. Sc. (Final) examination only after he has passed the M. Sc. (Previous) examination and has pursued a regular course of study. In the circumstances, the petitioner cannot claim that the University is estopped from urging that the petitioner had failed in the 1971 M. Sc. (Previous) examination as the result of permitting such a plea would be to create a situation where the petitioner will be able to appear in the M. Sc. Final examination even though he has failed in M. Sc. (Previous) examination, a situation which is prohibited by the Statute. It is true that the rule of estoppel does not operate against the directions and prohibitions enacted by the statute law and against the rights accruing to any party by reason of such directions and prohibitions. However, in this case, the plea of estoppel, relied upon by the petitioner, is not directed against any direction or prohibitions enacted by the statute law. The petitioner does not contend that any representation was made by the University contrary to the ordinance which provides that ,a candidate can appear in the M. Sc. (Final) examination only after he has passed the M. Sc. (Previous) examination. Had any such contrary representation been made by the University and as a result of which the petitioner had changed his position to his detriment, it might have been possible to urge that the petitioner cannot raise a plea of estoppel so as to contravene a particular statute. In this case, the petitioner claims that the University made a representation in respect of a pure question of fact, namely, about the marks secured by him in various papers. Such a representation was not contrary to any directions or prohibition contained in any statute. In the circumstances the rule relied upon by the counsel for the University, that there can be no estoppel against the statute, cannot be applied to the fact of this case. After all the rule of estoppel is intended to apply, only to such cases where a wrong representation has been made to a person and that person acts upon it and alters his position to his detriment. Plea of estoppel cannot be met by saying that notwithstanding the wrong representation of fact a person to whom such representation has been made is not entitled to make a claim as in accordance with the real facts he was not legally entitled to make it. Learned counsel for the University has not been able to point out any provision in the University Act. Statute or Ordinance framed therein which enabled the University to take tip a different stand after declaring that the petitioner had passed his M. Sc. (Previous) examination especially when he had acted upon that declaration and altered his position. I am, accordingly of opinion that in the circumstances, the University is clearly estopped from taking up the stand or from producing evidence for showing that the mark-sheet issued to the Petitioner in which he was shown to have passed the M. Sc. (Previous) examination was wrong and that the petitioner had, in fact, failed in the M. Sc. (Previous) examination.

8. Since the petitioner has pursued the regular course of study for appearing in the M. Sc. (Final) examination for the year 1972 and the University is estopped from taking UP the stand, different from that contained in the mark-sheet issued to the petitioner viz., that he had passed the 1971 M. Sc. (Prey.) examination, the petitioner was clearly entitled to appear in the M. Sc. (Final) Examination, 1972, and the University was not justified in preventing him from taking that examination.

9. In the result, the petition succeeds and is allowed. The petitioner has already appeared in the M. Sc. (Final) examination for the year 1972. In case the respondents have not declared the result so far, they are directed to declare his result on the footing that the marks obtained by him in M. Sc. (Previous) examination were as contained in (Annexure 'A') to the writ petition. In the circumstances of the case the parties are directed to bear their own costs of the petition.


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