S.S. Sodhi, J.
1. In the absence of rules or regulations governing the matter, is a writ of mandamus competent to direct the grant of grace marks to a failed candidate merely on the ground that such marks have been given to some others? This is the matter which arises for consideration in this petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.
2. The petitioner, Rajinder Kumar, was a student of the Punjab State Faculty of Ayurvedic and Unani System of Medicine. Amritsar. After four earlier unsuccessful attempts to pass the fifth year professional examine of the faculty, he failed in his fifth attempt too, but this time by only 11 marks. It was his claim that he was entitled to these 11 marks as grace marks on the ground that there were instances, quoted in the writ petition, where candidates had been given grace marks.
3. No return was filed by any of the respondents. The stand of Mr. Roop Chand, counsel for respondents 3, 4 and 6 being that the writ petition could be disposed of merely on the legal issue raised therein and no return was, there fore, necessary.
4. There were admittedly no rules or regulations under the relevant Act, namely the Punjab State Faculty of Ayurvedic and Unani Systems of Medicine Act, 1963. Regarding the grant of grace marks. It is apparent, therefore, that any grace marks given to any candidate in the past were without any colour of legal authority. The sole contention of the counsel for the petitioner was that it would be discrimination against the petitioner Rajinder Kumar, if he was not given grace marks as had been given to other candidates in the past. In support of this contention he sought to rely upon the judgment of this Court in Radha Krishan Sood v. State of Punjab, Civil Writ No. 3375 of 1972, decided on January 29, 1973. This was again a case which involved a claim for grace marks in the final year examination of the Ayurvedic College Patiala. It was held that even in the absence of rules and regulations relating to the grant of grace marks in examinations if such marks had been given to some candidates it would not look reasonable for the respondents to the allowed to accord different treatment to the petitioner. The respondents were accordingly directed to give the necessary grace marks to the petitioner and declare his result thereafter.
5. We cannot with respect subscribe to the view taken in Radha Krishan Sood's case (supra). In the absence of rules or regulations governing the matter, there is obviously no legal right in the petitioner which he could seek to enforce for grace marks to be given to him as claimed. Counsel for the petitioner could indeed point to no such right under which the grant of grace marks to the petitioner could be enforced. As is well known Mandamus is a discretionary relief granted to enforce a specific legal right. No such exists in the petitioner here. The fact that some grace marks may have been given to some other candidates could at best be construed as a concession extended to them or may be taken as an arbitrary exercise of power, but, be that at it may. No right accrues thereby to the petitioner, amenable to enforcement in writ proceedings. To hold otherwise would be conferring legality to arbitrariness, in the matter of grant of grace marks, both with regard to the cases where they are to be given as also the extent thereof, a course which is clearly not permissible under cover of any legal or equitable consideration. We are constrained, therefore, to overrule the authority referred to above and to hold that the petitioner is not entitled to the relief claimed. This writ petition is accordingly hereby dismissed. In the circumstances, however, there will be no order as to costs.
S.S. Sandhawalia, C.J.
6. I agree.
7. Petition dismissed.