G.P. Singh, C.J.
1. The petitionerwas admitted as a student in the first year of B.V.Sc. & A.H. course of the College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, Jabalpur in the year 1977-78- By order dated 19th October 1981 issued by the Registrar of the Jawaharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya, Jabalpur, in accordance with the decision taken by the Academic Council, the petitioner was rusticated from the University forthwith due to his acts of misconduct, cheating and forgery, as he secured admission in 1977-78 by presenting a copy of forged H.S.S.C. mark-sheet of Madhya Pradesh Board of Secondary Education. By the same order the petitioner was debarred from seeking admission in any of the courses of the University in future and the courses passed by him since admission were also cancelled.
2. Applications in the prescribed form along with the required certificates and documents are submitted in duplicate for seeking admission to the first year B. V. Sc. course. One application remains in the office of the Dean of the college and the other application in the Registrar's office. The petitioner was a candidate from the general category. The petitioner had secured only 54% marks in the H.S.S.C. Examination which he passed in second division. In 1977-78 session the minimum percentage of marks on which admissions were made under the general category was 65.37%. On the basis of the marks obtained in the H.S.S.C. Examination the petitioner had absolutely no chance for getting admission. The petitioner in his applications mentioned that he had secured 72% marks in H.S.S.C. Examination. The petitioner attachedfalse copies of mark-sheet showing that he secured 72.6% marks along with his application. The petitioner also attached false copies of certificate that he had passed H.S.S.C. Examination in first division. It is on the basis of these false statement, mark-sheet and certificate that the petitioner got admission. The petitioner also secured National Loan Scholarship from the Directorate of Collegiate Education, Bhopal, and merit cum-means scholarship from the I.C.A.R. (a Central Government Organisation) on the basis of false mark-sheet and certificate. The petitioner later wanted to remove copies of false mark-sheet submitted by him which were in the Dean's office and the Registrar's office. He obtained these copies from the concerned clerks on the pretext that he wanted to prepare photostat copies for use elsewhere. He also tore out one page of the admission application in the Dean's office where he had entered that he had secured 72.6% marks in the H.S.S.C. Examination. It appears that he also approached the office of the Scholarship Officer at Bhopal for getting back the false mark-sheet. The authorities at that end got suspicious about the genuineness of the mark-sheet. The Scholarship Officer made enquiries from the Board of Higher Secondary Education, Bhopal. The truth then came out that the petitioner had secured only 54% marks and not 72.6% and that he passed that examination in second division and not in first division as stated by him. On getting this information the Directorate of Collegiate Education, Madhya Pradesh, cancelled the order awarding loan scholarship and ordered the recovery of Rs. 873 which the petitioner had till then received. A copy of the order of the Directorate of Collegiate Education was forwarded to the Dean of the Veterinary College who started enquiries at this end. The petitioner deposited the amount of Rs. 873 which he had received as scholarship from the Directorate of Collegiate Education. The Vice-Chancellor by order dated 30th September 1981 constituted a Committee consisting of Dr. S. K. Saxena, Dr. B. S. Malik, Dean Veterinary, and Shri Pillai, Dy. Registrar to examine the petitioner's case. The Committee after examining all the relevant documents found the allegations against him to be true. But the Committee having regard to the seriousness of the case and the fact that the petitioner was in the final year recommended that the decision in respect of his case be taken by the Academic Council which was to meet on 5th October 1981. The Academic Council in its meeting held on 5th October, 1981 found that the petitioner was guilty of obtaining admission by submitting copies of forged H.S.S.C. mark-sheet. The Council resolved that the petitioner be rusticated for his acts of misconduct, cheating and forgery; that he be debarred from seeking admission in any of the courses of the University in future and that the courses passed by him since the admission be cancelled. It was on the basis of this decision that the Registrar issued the impugned order.
3. The petitioner did not dispute in his petition that he secured only 54% marks in the H.S.S.C. Examination. The petitioner, however, disputed the fact that he secured admission by filing copies of false mark-sheet and false certificate. At the time of hearing, the respondents produced before us the original documents from which we have no doubt that the petitioner had secured admission by producing copies of false mark-sheet and false certificate. He had also been successful on the same basis to get two scholarships. The learned counsel for the petitioner, to begin with, made a grievance that principles of natural justice were not followed by the Committee constituted by the Vice-Chancellor and the Academic Council in reaching the conclusion of guilt against the petitioner. But when we indicated that we were prepared to hold an enquiry on the charges of misconduct found against the petitioner in this Court itself after giving the petitioner full opportunity, the learned counsel for the petitioner very rightly did not Insist upon this enquiry the result of which was obvious and agreed to proceed on the assumption that the petitioner was guilty of the acts of misconduct found against him by the Academic Council. The learned counsel for the petitioner submitted two points for our consideration; (1) that the Academic Council had no power to pass the impugned order as this power could only be exercised by the Board of the University, and (2) that after the finding was reached that the petitioner was guilty of the acts of misconduct, the Academic Council should have heard him on the question of punishment.
4. Section 24 of the Jawaharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya Act, 1963, enumerates the authorities of the University. These authorities are : (i) the Board, (ii) the Academic Council, (iii) the Faculties, and (iv) such other authorities asmay be declared by the Statutes to be the authorities of the Vishwa Vidyalaya. Section 27 (1) declares the Board to be the supreme authority of the University and confers on it the power to revise the acts of the Academic Council and to exercise all the powers of the University for carrying out the purposes of the Act. Without prejudice to the generality of this supreme and extensive power conferred on the Board, Section 27 (2) enumerates in particular the powers and duties of the Board. Clause (x) of Section 27 (2) mentions the power and the duty 'to make provision for the control of admission, conduct and discipline of the students of the Vishwa Vidyalaya and to make arrangements for promoting their health and general welfare.' The power to make Statutes of the University is conferred on the Board by Section 37. Statutes may provide for all or any of the matters enumerated in Section 36. Clause (xvi) of this section refers to the subject of the admission of students to the University and their enrolment and continuance and Clause (xxi) to the maintenance of discipline among the students of the University. The Board, however, has not made any Statute dealing with these matters so far.
5. The Academic Council is constituted under Section 28, Sub-section (1) of which declares that it shall be 'in charge of the academic affairs of the Vishwa Vidyalaya.' Powers and duties of the Academic Council are enumerated in Section 29. We are concerned here with Clause (a) of that section which says that the Academic Council 'shall, subject to the provisions of this Act and the Statutes, generally regulate and have the control of, and be responsible for, the maintenance of standard of teaching, research and examination of the Vishwa Vidyalaya and for the requirements for obtaining degrees.' Section 38 of the Act empowers the authorities and other bodies of the University to make regulations consistent with the Act and the Statutes. Apart from other matters, the regulations made may provide for any matter 'solely concerning such authorities and bodies and not provided for by this Act and the Statutes.' (see Clause (c) of Section 38). The Academic Council by resolution passed in its meeting held on 4th and 5th June 1969 made the Academic Regulations. Regulation I deals with Calendar, registration and degree requirements. Regulation II covers the subject of System of Instructions and Evaluation. Regulation III refers to the Academic Standing of Students; their continuance in and dropping from the Vishwa Vidyalaya, Regulation IV deals with conduct and discipline of students. Clause 8 (1) (iv) of this Regulation enumerates the punishments which can be awarded. Sub-clauses (e) and (g) of Clause 8 (1) (iv) provide for punishments of 'cancellation of the work done in one or more courses, including dropping of entire semester' and 'dismissal from the Vishwa Vidyalaya up to rustication.' Clause 8 (1) (v) vests the power of awarding punishment to the students in the Deans.
6. The learned counsel for the petitioner first argued that the power to take disciplinary action against a student is vested only in the Board under Section 27 (2) (x) and that the Academic Council had nothing to do with taking any disciplinary action against a student. We have already stated that the Board is the supreme authority and exercises all the powers of the University for carrying out the purposes of the Act. It can also revise any action of the Academic Council. There is nothing in relation to the University which the Board cannot do and, therefore, the mere fact that the Board has also the power to take disciplinary action against students does not negative a similar power in the Academic Council. The Board has made so far no statute making provisions for conduct and discipline of students. The Academic Council is in charge of the academic affairs of the University as is expressly declared by Section 28 (1). This by itself confers wide powers on the Academic Council relating to academic affairs, Further, Section 29 says that the Academic Council shall generally regulate and have the control of and be responsible for 'the requirements for obtaining degrees.' The declaration that the Academic Council shall be in charge of the academic affairs and the responsibility laid on it for the requirements for obtaining degrees and the power of regulation and control conferred on it by Section 29, in our opinion, enable the Academic Council to take action in the matter of conduct and discipline of students. It is not possible to accept the argument that conduct and discipline of students in the University is not connected with academic affairs or with requirements for obtaining degrees. A student who by false pretences secures admission or a student who by using unfair means passes an examination cannot be said to satisfy the requirements for obtaining degrees and control of such activities bythe Academic Council which is in charge of the academic affairs of the University is well within its powers under Sections 28 and 29. The Academic Council could, therefore, make regulations providing for these matters under Section 38 (11 (c)- The learned counsel in this connection also argued that under Section 38 (1) (c) an authority can make regulations on matters solely concerning it and as the control of conduct and discipline of students is also a matter falling within the jurisdiction of the Board, the Academic Council could not make any regulations under Section 38 (1) (c). In our opinion, this construction of Section 38 (1) (c) is not sound. We have already indicated that the Board has all the powers of the University and it can take all actions which the other authorities are empowered to take. In this background if the word 'solely' is construed in the manner submitted by the learned counsel for the petitioner, the entire Section 38 (1) (c) will become wholly redundant as no authority will be able to make regulations under that provision-In our opinion, the words 'any other matters solely concerning such authorities' as used in Section 38 (1) (c) mean that an authority can make regulations on a subject falling within its jurisdiction in se far as it is to be dealt with by it. In other words, if a matter can be dealt with by the Board and the Academic Council both, the Academic Council may make regulations as to how that matter would be dealt with by it. It cannot make regulations as to how that matter may be dealt with by the Board. In our opinion, the regulations made by the Academic Council were well within its power.
7. The learned counsel then argued that the power conferred by Clause 8 (1) (v) of Regulation IV to award punishment is on the Dean and the Academic Council cannot exercise such a power. This argument is also not acceptable- The Academic Council gets the power in such a matter by virtue of the general powers conferred on it by Sections 28 and 29. Moreover, Dean, Veterinary, is a member of the Academic Council. He was present in the meeting of the Academic Council when the decision against the petitioner was unanimously taken. The decision taken by the Academic Council was shared by the Dean. There can, therefore, be no illegality whatsoever in the decision.
8. As regards the second contention that the Academic Council should have heard the petitioner on the question ofpunishment, there is no provision either in the Act or in the Regulations for hearing the petitioner. The principles of natural justice also do not enjoin that a person should be heard on the question of punishment apart from hearing him on the question of his guilt. Article 311(2) of the Constitution as originally enacted afforded an opportunity to a Government servant to show cause against the penalty proposed but there is no general principle of this nature. Moreover, having regard to the seriousness of the acts of misconduct, the penalties cannot be held to be severe. The petitioner secured admission by cheating by producing false mark-sheet and certificate. He also obtained by cheating two scholarships. His admission which was obtained fraudulently was void and the courses taken by him in the college stood automatically cancelled as a result of cancellation of his admission. His dismissal and restication from the University debarring him from seeking admission in future was also fully justified. We do not think that any ground is made out for interference in the matter of punishment.
9. The petition fails and is dismissed with costs. Counsel's fee Rs. 100. The balance amount of the security, if any, be refunded to the petitioner.