A. Misra, J.
1. The petitioner appeared at the LL. B. Part I examination held between 19th and 24th June, 1967. On 24-6-67, while answering paper No. VI (Jurisprudence), feeling some urge to answer call of nature, he left the examination hall with the permission of the Centre Superintendent about an hour after the commencement of examination and proceeded to the toilet situate about 100 yards from the examination hall. In the toilet, some torn and full sheets of printed papers were lying scattered. While he was in the toilet, the Centre Superintendent entered and accused him of being in possession of printed papers. He denied this accusation and replied that while urinating he was simply looking at the papers which were lying scattered on the floor. The Centre Superintendent took a statement from him more or less on the lines stated above.
Subsequently, by a letter the Deputy Registrar of the Utkal University on the basis of the report from the Centre Superintendent communicated two specific charges to the effect that he had violated Rule 4 of the Rules prescribed by the Universityand secondly, he had copied from the incriminating material in his possession while answering questions and directed him to show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken against him. Petitioner in his reply denied to have been in posses-sion of any printed papers or to have contravened Rule 4 mentioned above and also requested for an opportunity to see the seven printed pages alleged to have been found in his possession as well as answer papers to enable him furnish his explanation fully as otherwise it was not possible for him to give his explanation to charge No. 2. Without affording necessary opportunity and facility requested for by the petitioner, the Utkal University by a notification under item 146 dated 21-9-67 ordered cancellation of the result of the petitioner in the LL. B. Part I examination of June, 1967 and debarred him from appearing at any examination prior to part I examination of December, 1968.
In the present writ application, petitioner has prayed for quashing the aforesaid notification on the following grounds : (1) that the syndicate has no power or jurisdiction under the provisions contained in the statute, statutory rules or orders governing the University to impose any punishment on an examinee for indulging in mal practices and misconduct at an examination; (2) that the Deputy Registrar was not competent to issue the notice to the petitioner directing him to show cause, and as such, the said notice is invalid; (3) that the toilet where according to the report of the Centre Superintendent petitioner was alleged to have been found in possession of certain printed papers, not being a part and parcel of the examination hall, there is no violation of Rule 4 which only prohibits candidates from being in possession of any such extraneous material while entering or sitting within the examination hall for answering question papers; (4) that the syndicate has not applied its mind before issue of the show-cause notice to the petitioner, and as such, the entire proceeding is vitiated; and (5) that there was failure to observe principles of natural justice in conducting the enquiry before imposing the penalties on the petitioner.
2. Though at the inception learned counsel for petitioner proposed and to some extent proceeded with arguments on the different grounds stated above, in the course of arguments, he stated that in the present case he does not press the first four grounds mentioned above, and therefore, we do not propose to decide the merits and demerits of each of those grounds. Thus, the only ground impugning the order of the University which arises for consideration is whether there was failure of observance of principles of natural justice in conducting the enquiry. Learned counsel for petitioner urges that there was failure of observance of principles of natural justice in holdingthe enquiry firstly because petitioner was not given me right and opportunity of cross-examining the Centre Superintendent on whose report action has been taken; secondly petitioner was not allowed inspection of the materials utilised against him in the enquiry in spite of a specific request made by him; thirdly, he was not furnished with a copy of the report of the Centre Superintendent on the basis of which the enquiry was started and lastly, the enquiry should have been conducted in the presence of petitioner.
3. It is well settled that enquiries by Universities or other educational authorities in exercise of their disciplinary jurisdiction are quasi-judicial in nature. In the case reported in Board of High School and Intermediate Education, U. P. Allahabad v. Bagleshwar Prasad, AIR 1966 SC 875 while observing that it would not be reasonable to import into such enquiries all considerations which govern criminal trials in ordinary courts of law the Supreme Court have clearly laid down the law defining the ambit and extent of jurisdiction of the High Court in exercise of its powers under Article 226 of the Constitution to interfere with such orders as follows :
'Enquiries held by domestic tribunals in such cases must, no doubt, be fair and the students against whom charges are framed must be given adequate opportunities to defend themselves, and in holding such enquiries, the tribunals must scrupulously follow rules of natural justice.'
4. No doubt, expression 'principles of natural justice' does not admit of a precise definition, yet broadly speaking, it includes that a party should know the accusation or accusations against him, the material on which such accusations are proposed to be supported; that he should have reasonable and adequate opportunity of adducing all relevant evidence on which he proposes to rely and that no material should be used against him without his being given an opportunity of explaining them.
5. In the present case, the undisputed facts clearly disclose and it is not seriously controverted by learned Government Advocate appearing for opposite parties that it cannot be said that principles of natural justice have been scrupulously observed in conducting the enquiry before imposing the penalties on the petitioner. The two charges communicated to him on the basis of a report by the Centre Superintendent were (1) that he was found in possession of certain papers in contravention of Rule 4 of the Rules and (2) that he copied from the said incriminating material while answering questions.
In reply, petitioner denied the first charge in toto, though he stated that certain papers were lying scattered in the urinal which he visited with the permission of the Centre Superintendent. So far as the second chargeis concerned, he requested to be shown the seven printed papers alleged to have been found in his possession as well as his answer papers to enable him to furnish his explanation to the accusation of having copied from the incriminating material. He was not supplied with this material in spite of his request nor with the report of the Centre Superintendent which formed the basis of the charge, but the same have been utilised against him in finding him guilty of the charges and imposing the penalties. This shows that he was not furnished with the materials which were proposed to be relied upon in support of the charges, though the said materials have been used against him without his being given an opportunity of explaining the same. In such circumstances, we have no hesitation in holding that there has been failure to observe principles of natural justice in conducting the enquiry resulting in the punishments.
6. Hence, we allow the application and direct that the notification of the Utkal University issued under item No. 146 dated 21-9-67 be quashed. In the circumstances, there will be no order as to costs.
7. I agree.