S.C. Agarwal, J.
1. In this writ petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, the petitioner, Shri Jalam Singh, is seeking a writ of mandamus to quash the examinations for the Pre-Medical Test (hereinafter referred to as 'the PMT Examination') which was held in November, 1980 for selecting suitable candidates for admission to the Medical Colleges in the State of Rajasthan.
2. In the State of Rajasthan, there are live Medical Colleges run by the State, at Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Bikaner and Ajmer. Admission to the said Medical Colleges is made by selecting the suitable candidates on the basis of the results of the PMT Examination, which is conducted by the University of Rajasthan for and on behalf of the Government of Rajasthan. For the purpose of conducting the PMT Examination in the year 1980, the University of Rajasthan had published a scheme for the PMT Examination, whereby, the distribution of marks in the various papers in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and English was prescribed and the syllabus for the aforesaid subjects was also prescribed. For the purpose of selection the merit is determined on the basis of the marks obtained in Physics, Chemistry and Biology papers. The petitioner had appeared at the PMT Examination in the year, 1980 and he secured 166 marks in the aforesaid three papers. The petitioner was, however, not selected for admission to any of the Medical Colleges and he has, therefore, moved this writ petition, wherein, he has submitted that the provisions contained in the scheme as well as the syllabus issued by the University of Raj., were not followed in certain aspects in the Physics, Chemistry and Biology papers, and as a result of the said departures in the said papers from the scheme as well as the syllabus, the right of the petitioner under Article 14 of the Constitution of India, has been violated. The petitioner has, therefore, prayed that a writ of mandamus may be issued against the non-petitioners, viz. the University of Rajasthan and the State of Rajasthan, directing them to quash the examinations of PMT, 1980, held in the month of November, 1980 and to reconduct the same after properly following the provisions contained in the syllabus.
3. The writ petition has been contested on behalf of the non-petitioners, and a reply to the writ petition has also been filed on behalf of the University of Rajasthan, non-petitioner No. 1. In the said reply, an objection has been raised that on the basis of the results of the impugned PMT Examination, the successful candidates have been interviewed and the selected candidates have already been given admission to the MBBS Course in the different Medical Colleges in Rajasthan, and that the aforesaid successful candidates, who have been given admission on the basis of the result of the impugned PMT Examination, are necessary parties to the writ petition and since they have not been impleaded as parties in the writ petition, no relief so as to quash the entire PMT Examination held in November, 1980, can be granted. In the said reply filed on behalf of the University of Raj. it has also been stated that the scheme of the examination issued by the University of Rajasthan only contains instructions for the guidance of the candidates and for the University, and that they do not have any statutory force and the breach of the said conditions cannot afford a ground for chellenging the examinations held under the said scheme. The University of Rajasthan has further asserted that directions had given to the examiners that in cases where it was found that the papers were not fully in accordance with the scheme, published by the University, the examiners should see that no prejudice was caused to the candidates and that, therefore, it cannot be said that the petitioner has suffered any prejudice on account of any departure from the scheme in the matter of setting the question papers and that it cannot be said that the rights of the petitioner under Article 14 of the Constitution of India had been violated.
4. I have heard Shri M.L. Shrimali, the learned Counselfor the petitioner; Shri N.N. Mathur, the learned Counselfor the University of Rajasthan; and Shri Rajesh Balia, the learned Deputy Government Advocate for the State.
5. The first question which arises for consideration is as to whether the petitioner can maintain this writ petition without impleading the students, who have been selected for admission to the various Medical Colleges in the State of Rajasthan on the basis of the PMT Examination, 1980, which is sought to be impugned by the petitioner in this writ petition. Shri Shrimali has submitted that the seleciions as. well as the admissions were made after the writ petition had been filed by the petitioner in this Court and after the show-cause notice had been issued to the non-petitioners by this Court and, therefore, the selections and admissions, which have been made subsequent to the issue of the show-cause notice are subject to the final orders, that are passed by this Court and it was not necessary for the petitioner to implead the students who have been selected and given admission on the basis of the results of PMT Examination held in 1980, as parties to the writ petition. In my opinion, the aforesaid contention urged by Shri Shrimali cannot be accepted. The mere fact that this Court had issued a show-cause notice on the writ petition filed by the petitioner, did not stand in the way of the respondents making selections on the basis of the results of the PMT Examination held in 1980 and giving admission to the selected students. Further more, in the present case, along with the writ petition, the petitioner had filed a stay petition wherein he had prayed that the non-petitioners may be restrained from completing the interviews or making admission to MBBS Course or in the alternative, they may be directed to give provisional admission to the petitioner subject to the result of the writ petition. No interim order was, however, passed by this Court on the stay petition, which means that the Court did not feel inclined to restrain the non-petitioners from completing the interviews or making admission to the MBBS Course. In the circumstances, there was no legal bar to the non-petitioners completing the interviews on the basis of the results of the PMT examinations held in 1980 and giving admission to the selected students to the MBBS Course and the selected students, who have been given admission to the MBBS Course can legitimately claim a right to be heard by this Court before this Court passes an order quashing the PMT Examinations held in 1980 in the present writ petition.
6. In this regard, reference may be made to the decision of the Supreme Court in P. Rajendran v. State of Madras : 2SCR786 . In the said case, the admissions to Medical Colleges were challenged on the ground that the relevant rules under which the admissions had been given, were violative of the provisions of Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution of India. The students who had been selected for admission were, however, not impleaded as parties in the writ petition. The Supreme Court held that without impleading the selected candidates as parties, their selections could not be quashed. In the said case, however, the Supreme Court decided the question with regard to the validity of the rules for the reason that the same might have a bearing on the selections, that may be made in the future years.
7. Similarly in State of Kerala v. Rafia Rahim : AIR1978Ker176 a Full Bench of the Kerala High Court while dealing with a writ petition involving challenge to admission to Medical Colleges, has laid down that selected candidates were necessary parties to the writ petition and that on account of the failure on the part of the petitioner to implead the selected candidates as parties to the writ petition, no relief could be granted to the petitioner in the said case.
8. The same view has been taken by this Court in Alok Mishra v. The University of Jodhpur and Ors. S.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 1360/1279 decided on November 25, 1980). In my opinion, therefore, the selected candidates, who have been given admission to the Medical Colleges on the basis of the results of the PMT Examinations held in 1980 were necessary parties to the writ petition and relief with regard to the quashing of the PMT Examinations held in November 1980, cannot be granted to the petitioner in their absence.
9. Shri Shrimali next submitted that it wbuld not be necessary to quash the PMT examinations held in 1980 and that the relief can be given to the petitioner without quashing the said examinations. In support of his aforesaid submission, Shri Shrimali has placed reliance on the decisions of the Supreme Court in A. Periakaruppan v. State of Tamil Nadu : 2SCR430 ; State of Kerala v. P.P. Roshana : AIR1979SC765 : & Charles K.S. Karia v. Dr. C Mathew AIR 1980 SC 1230. In my opinion, the aforesaid decisions, on which reliance has been placed by Shri Shrimali, can have no application to the present case.
10. In Periakaruppan' case (supra), the Supreme Court had taken note of the fact that at the time of the decision of the case by the Supreme Court, 24 seats still remained to be filled up and the Advocate General for the State of Tamil Nadu had given an assurance on behalf of the State that the said seats would be filled up in accordance with the orders of the Supreme Court and in those circumstances, the Court passed an order directing the State of Tamil Nadu to constitute a separate expert committee for making selection for the 24 unfilled seats & it further directed that the selection should be made on the State-wise basis from amongst the candidates who were shown in the waiting-list.
11. In State of Kerala v. T.P. Roshana (supra), the Supreme Court after examining the formula prepared by the State Government for allocation of seats to the students of the various Universities in the State of Kerala found that the students of the Callicut University were entitled to 30 extra seats, which were denied to them. In the said circumstances, the Supreme Court directed the State Government to admit 30 more willing students, who were qualified under the Rules and who were students from the colleges affiliated to the Callicut University. The Supreme Court further directed that the selection of these 30 students would not be confined to those who had moved the Supreme Court or the High Court by way of writ proceedings or appeal and that the selection would be thrown open to the first 30, strictly according to merit measured by marks secured.
12. In Charles K. Karia v. Dr. C. Mathew (supra), the Supreme Court was dealing with a case relating to admission to the post-graduate course in Opthalmology. The total number of seats available for the year 1979-80 in the said course was 6. Out of those 6 seats one seat belonged to the SC/ST candidates, another to a tutor working in a Medical College and out of the remaining 4 seats, the Supreme Court observed that one Dr. Gopinathan Nair was so meritorious that non had challenged his admission. The dispute was thus confined to the 3 seats and there were 6 contestents for the same. From the judgment of the Supreme Court, it appears that during the course of arguments before the Supreme Court, the counsel appearing for the State of Kerala had made a statement that the State Government was willing to take in for the post-graduate course for Opthalmology for that year, 2 more candidates, one in the Medical College, Trivandrum and the other in the Medical College, Callicut. In these circumstances, the Supreme Court directed the State of Kerala and the Principal of the Trivandrum Medical College, who was the convener of the Selection Committee, as well as the two Universities concerned, to admit into the post-graduate to Opthalmology Course, two of the candidates, who had been denied admission earlier.
13. It will thus, be seen that in the cases referred to above, the Supreme Court gave directions with regard to the admission of students in the unfilled seats that were available or where a mistake had been committed in allocation of seats or where the State Government had agreed to increase the seats. In the present case, none of these conditions can be said to exist, The number of seats in the Medical Colleges in the State of Rajasthan are fixed and all those seats have already been filled by admission of students who have been selected on the basis of the PMT Examinations, held in 1980. No additional seat is available. Moreover, in the facts and circumstances of the present case, it will not be fair to give a direction to the State Government to increase the seats in one of the Medical Colleges so as to accommodate the petitioner. The main grievance of the petitioner in the writ petition, is that on account of the defects in the examination papers, he could not secure sufficient number of marks so as to be selected for admission to the Medical Colleges Since the defects in the examination papers were such as to affect all the candidates who had appeared at the said examination, the other students who secured less marks and were not selected, can also come forward and make a grievance that they also were affected by the defects in the examination papers and for that reason they should also be given admission. To give preference to the petitioner as against the other students by giving a direction to the State Government to create an additional seat and to admit the petitioner in the said addition al seat would result in discriminating in favour of the petitioner as against the other students similarly situate. Such a course would no be permissible. In my opinion, therefore, the contention urged by Shri Shrimali that relief can be given to the petitioner without quashing the selections that have been made on the basis of the results of the PMT Examinations held in 1980, cannot be accepted. In the circumstances, the preliminary objection with regard to the maintainability of the writ petition must succeed and the writ petition must fail on that account alone.
14. But, since I have heard the arguments on the merits also, I propose to deal with the same.
15. The grievance of the petitioner is that the question papers of Physics, Chemistry and Biology suffered from certain defects. So far as Physics paper is concerned, the case of the petitioner is that question No. 2(c) in Section 'A' involving comparison of the isothermal with adiabatic process, was outside the course because in the syllabus, only isothermal, isobaric and isomatric processes were prescribed. Another grievance of the petitioner with regard to the Physics paper is that even though in the scheme of the examinations relating to the Physics paper, it was prescribed that candidates would be required to answer all the 6 questions and that each question will have 5 parts, out of which the candidate will have an internal choice of answering any 4 parts, and that the marks shown against the various parts of questions Nos. 4 and 5 were not uniform, as a result of which, the petitioner had suffered prejudice. In the reply that has been filed on behalf of the University, it has been denied that question No. 2(c) was outside the course prescribed in the syllabus and it has been stated that as per the opinion of the experts in Physics, the said question relates to elementary knowledge of the subject and could not be said to be out of course. As regards unequal marks being assigned to the various parts of questions Nos. 4 and 5 in the examination paper, it has been submitted on behalf of the University that the aforesaid mistake in the question paper was detected before the answer-books were examined and that confidential instructions had been issued to the concerned examiners to examine the answer-books after allotting equal marks to each part and that due care was taken that no prejudice was caused to any of the candidates who appeared at the examination.
16. As regards the Chemistry paper, the submission of the petitioner is that question No. 8(ii) in Section 'B' was erroneous. The petitioner has further asserted that question No. 6(b) in Section 'B' was outside the scope of the Syllabus. The case of the petitioner is further that even though in the Scheme of Examination, it was prescribed that each question will have to be divided in 4 or 5 parts, question Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 6 contained only 3 parts ; questions No. 4, 7 and 9 contained only 2 parts and questions Nos. 8 and 10 had no parts at all. In the reply that has been filed on behalf of the University, it has been stated that there was a small printing mistake in the third step of question No. 8(ii) and that allowance for the said error was given to the candidate while examining the answer books and that confidential instructions were issued to the examiners, whereby, it was directed that all parts except section (ii) carry 2 1/2 marks each, and that the first step of section (ii) carried one mark and second step carried 2/3 marks. In the said reply, it is further stated that the students pointing out the mistake were given benefit and that no prejudice was caused to the petitioner as a result of the said error in question No. 8(ii). In the said reply, it has also been stated that question No. 6(b) was not out of course prescribed in the syllabus in as much as opinion had been obtained from experts in the Chemistry Department and they were of the opinion that the said question is not out of syllabus. As regards the complaint of the petitioner that questions were not divided in 4 or 5 parts as required by the Scheme of Examination, the University has submitted that it was not obligatory for the University to set the papers strictly in accordance with the guidelines given in the scheme and that since it was a competitive examination and that whatever choice that was given was applicable to all the candidates, and no prejudice was caused to the petitioner.
17. With regard to the Biology paper, the grievance of the petitioner is that question No. 5(E)(iv) in Section 'B' was framed in a manner as to deny to the petitioner the choice of three topics, which should have been given in view of item No. 7(v) at page 12 of the syllabus. The other grievance of the petitioner is that the marks, which were allotted to the various items of question Np. 6 were not uniform. In the reply that has been filed on behalf of the University, it has been stated that question No. 5(E)(iv) in Section 'B' is in accordance with item No. 7(v) at page 12 of the syllabus in as much as under the said item, it was open to the examiners to ask the students on any of the three families viz., Malvaceae or Crucifare or Gramineae. As regards the distribution of marks for the various items in question No. 6, it has been stated on behalf of the University that at the time of assessment of the answer books, confidential instructions had been issued to the examiners to award full 16 marks instead or 15 to 15 1/2 marks and due care had been taken that no prejudice was caused to any of the candidates.
18. It would, thus, be seen that the grievance of the petitioner falls under the following heads:
(1) Certain questions were out of the syllabus.
(2) In respect of the certain questions, the choice as required to be given under the syllabus, was not given.
(3)The marks that were allotted to certain parts, were not in accordance with the instructions given in the Scheme.
The University has, however, denied that any of the questions was out of the syllabus. As regards the other defects, the University has stated that suitable instructions were given to the examiners and that no prejudice was caused to any candidate.
19. At this stage, it may be pointed out that the instructions that are contained in the Scheme of Examination and the Syllabus published by the University for the PMT Examinations are in the nature of administrative instructions. Although the breach of the said instructions might afford in certain cases a cause of action on the ground of violation of Article 14 of the Constitution, every breach of the said instructions cannot, in my opinion, be made a basis for a cause of action. To do so would amount to elevating the said administrative instructions to a level higher than statutory provisions because in respect of statutory provisions, the Court is required to examine as to whether the particular statutory provision, which has bee l violated was of a mandatory or of a directory nature, and action taken in breach of a statutory provision is struck down only when the contravention is of a statutory provision of mandatory nature. It is, therefore, not possible to accept the contention of Shri Shrimali that every breach of the instructions contained in the Scheme of Examinations and Syllabus published by the University can be made the basis for quashing the examinations held on the basis of the said Scheme and Syllabus. In order that the relief of quashing of the examination may be granted to him, the petitioner will have to establish that the breach of the instructions contained in the Scheme and Syllabus was of such a serious nature as to invalidate the entire examination. In the present case, some of the breaches complained of are disputed by the University and it is not possible for this Court on the basis of the material placed before it, to arrive at a conclusion that there was a breach of the terms of the Syllabus in relation to question No. 2(c) of the Physics paper, and question No. 6(b) of the Chemistry paper and question No. 5(E) (iv) of the Biology paper. As regards the other questions, it is not disputed that certain mistakes had been committed in the examination papers, but the mistakes were of a minor character and suitable instructions were given by the University to the examiners to take note of the said mistakes while examining the copies. It cannot, therefore, be said that the breach of the instructions contained in the Scheme of Examination and the Syllabus was of a serious nature. Nor it can be said that as a result of the said breach the petitioner has suffered such a prejudice as to invalidate the examinations.
20. The decision of this Court in Suresh Kumar Bhandari etc. v. The State of Rajasthan and Ors. S.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 675/78 and 11 other writ petitions decided on December 1, 1978, on which reliance has been placed by Shri Shrimali, does not lend assistance to the petitioner. In the said case, one question in the Biology paper was factually vague and confusing and was found to be incorrect and the Head-Examiner had directed the examiners to ignore the said question and to adopt a particular procedure while evaluating the answer-books. The said procedure which was adopted in evaluating the answer-books, was found to be arbitrary by this Court and in the aforesaid circumstances, this Court held that the result, which was declared by adopting the aforesaid procedure, could not be upheld. In the present case, it is not possible to hold that any discrimination has resulted between the various candidates inter se on account of the discrepancy in the examination papers, the petitioner cannot invoke the provisions of Article 14 of the Constitution of India so as to have the result of the PMT Examination for the year 1980 quashed. In my opinion, therefore, even on the merits, the petitioner has no case.
21. In the result, the writ petition fails and it is, accordingly, dismissed. There will be no order as to costs.