1. Briefly, the case of the petitioners is that they are students of Industrial Training Institute, Ferozepur They appeared in the examination conducted by the Director, Technical Education, Industrial Training Punjab (hereinafter referred to as the Director), in July 1979. It is alleged that as Per instructions issued by respondent Nos. 1 and 2, it was decided in 1978 to give 10 race marks to any candidate who was failing by a margin of such marks The petitioners, it is alleged are failing in the examination and if they are given 10 grace marks as the candidates had been given in 1978, they would pass the examination. Consequently, they have prayed that a writ be issued directing the respondents to give benefit of the 10 grace marks to the petitioners.
2. The writ petition has been contested by the respondents who have inter alia pleaded that the department adopted centralized procedure of examination in July, 1978. Prior to the aforesaid system, the evaluation of the papers used to be done by the examiners at the spot in the institutions but after the adpotion of centralized procedure of evaluation, the same system which was prevailing in the University was put into operation. That being the first year of the centralised procedure of examination, the Department sensing the poor pass percentage decided to allow 10 grace marks as a special case for 1978, in failing subjects to those candidates who could pass the examination. The said facility was afforded in a few trades. In 1979, Final Trade Test, the facility of three grace marks in a fail in subject to those candidates, who could pass the examination was extended to other trades also subject to the maximum of 10 marks in all the failing subjects but that too as u special case. dt is further pleaded that in the aforesaid circumstances the petitioners are not entitled to 10 grace marks as claimed by them.
3. It is contended by the learned counsel for the petitioners that after the adoption of the centralized procedure of examination in July 1978. the candidates who were fail in by 10 marks, were given those marks. He argues that the candidates who appeared in the exam in July, 1979 are also entitled to the same benefit. According to the counsel, the respondents cannot be allowed to withdraw the same.
4. I have heard the learned counsel at a considerable length but regret my inability to accept the contention. I have seen the departmental file which contains the correspondence regarding granting of 10 grace marks to the candidates. What happened in 1978 was that after the adoption of the new system, the pass percentage was very poor. The Director wrote to the Commissioner and Secretary to Government, Punjab, Industries and Industrial Training Punjab that an examination of the results and award rolls so far received and tabulated in the enclosed statement had revealed that the percentage of the passed out trainees ranged from 0 % to 50 per cent whereas in the previous years the results ranged between 90 per cent and 100 per cent. The marked variation between the present and past results could only be attributed to the earlier system. The trainees of the various Industrial Training Institutes have been representing through various Associations either in person or in writing to the Government that the system of awarding grace marks be introduced and that some of the individual trainees had approached them to get their papers reevaluated. It is further said that the Government were already aware that provision for awarding the grace marks. was not available in the Training Manual nor re-evaluation of Answer Books had been stipulated therein. Accordingly it was difficult to admit the request of the trainees on both these counts. It was pointed out that the Government of Haryana introduced the centralized system during 1976 covering only 10 trades. The results of the abovesaid trades being very poor, they allowed 10 extra marks in Fitter trade, 5 marks in rest of the trades, spreadable in each of the failing subject/subjects during the year 1976 only. It was then stated that the position in the State of Haryana during the year 1976 was existing in the State of Punjab as well, which warranted the adoption of identical remedial measures. The Director then started that that being the first year of adoption of centralised system awarding of 5 to 10 marks in the failing subject of each trade would be advisable under the prevailing situation, which would otherwise become explosive on the declaration of the results. He thereafter requested the Government to decide as to what extra marks be given to the candidates. The said letter was accompanied by an Annexure wherein the percentage of result in each trade was given. It was further mentioned as to how much the result would improve if 5 and 10 extra marks were awarded. The Commissioner and Secretary to the Government on the receipt of that letter informed the Director that the Government had agreed to grant 10 grace marks in the trades mentioned in the proposal for that year only.
5. From a reading of the aforesaid letters, it is evident that the Government decided to give 10 grace marks to the candidates who appeared in the examination held in July, 1978. The petitioners in my view, cannot et any benefit of that letter as they took the exam. in July, 1979. It may be mentioned that for the candidates who appeared in July, 1979, the department again wrote to the Government that they may be given some grace marks. The Government acceded to its request and agreed to grant 10 grace marks subject to the condition that a candidate would not be entitled to more than 3 marks in one subject. Mr. Doabia has argued that earlier decision was applicable for the candidates who appeared in July, 1979 as the Government had agreed to ant grace marks for one year. He further argues that the course of the petitioners started`in`1978 and therefore, they were entitled to the same concession as well. I am not convinced with this argument. If the two letters mentioned above, are read together no such inference can be drawn as is suggested by the learned counsel. The concession was for a particular exam. and:that cannot be extended to the next examination.
6. Mr. Doabia has next sought to argue that different criterion could not be laid down for 1979 than that what was laid down for 1978. He argues that the decision for 1979 violates Article 14 of the Constitution of India. I am not impressed with this contention as well The Government has got powers to lay down different criterion for different years. Article 14 does not forbid reasonable classification. It cannot be held that if particular criterion for granting grace marks is adopted in a Particular year, it should continue in subsequent years. The Government can always withdraw or modify such a concession. In my view Article 14 is not attracted to the facts of this case.
7. For the aforesaid reasons, this writ petition fails and the same is dismissed with costs. Counsel fee Rs. 200/-.
8. Petition dismissed.