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Miss Sathya Rao (Minor, Represented by Father and Guardian U.N.R. Rao) and ors. Vs. the University of Madras by the Registrar and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectConstitution
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1977)2MLJ403
AppellantMiss Sathya Rao (Minor, Represented by Father and Guardian U.N.R. Rao) and ors.
RespondentThe University of Madras by the Registrar and ors.
Cases ReferredKarimbil Kunhikomen and Anr. v. State of Kerala
Excerpt:
- - a perusal of the above provisions will clearly show the following :(1) a candidate must enter and sit for all the six subjects called the compulsory subjects enumerated under group i, but there was no requirement that he should attain the pass standard in all the six subjects. that committee was of the view, attain the pass standard in 3 subjects must be deleted as otherwise core subjects like mathematics and sciences may suffer a neglect on the part of the student. 2. statements of success will be awarded to candidates who reach a prescribed minimum aggregate of marks in all the subjects offered under group i and attain the pass standard in three or four subjects which must include the subject english. 3. supplementary statements of success will be issued to all candidates who.....m.m. ismail, j.1. this batch of writ petitions raises a common question concerning the eligibility of the petitioners for admission to the pre-university course of the madras university, hereinafter called, the university in the approved colleges of that university. the writ petitions themselves came up for hearing before mohan, j., but the learned judge took the view that, having regard to the importance of the matter and the fact that in any event the judgment rendered by him would be taken up in appeal by either of the parties, it was a fit case which must be decided by a division bench of this court. hence the matter has come before us.2. the pattern of education that is prevalent in this state just now is 11 years school course followed by one year pre-university course and three.....
Judgment:

M.M. Ismail, J.

1. This batch of writ petitions raises a common question concerning the eligibility of the petitioners for admission to the Pre-University Course of the Madras University, hereinafter called, the University in the approved Colleges of that University. The writ petitions themselves came up for hearing before Mohan, J., but the learned Judge took the view that, having regard to the importance of the matter and the fact that in any event the judgment rendered by him would be taken up in appeal by either of the parties, it was a fit case which must be decided by a division Bench of this Court. Hence the matter has come before us.

2. The pattern of education that is prevalent in this State just now is 11 years school course followed by one year Pre-University Course and three years Degree course. For sometime past, there had been a desire to change this pattern into 10 plus 2 plus 3 years course, the later three years being the Degree course in the University. This pattern had been decided upon already, but is being implemented in stages in different areas in the country and a switch over to the new pattern in this State is to take place in. the near future. When the old pattern of 11 years school course followed by one year Pre-University Course and 3 years Degree course was in force, certain bodies were conducting 11 years school course and the certificates issued by such bodies at the end of the course were considered equivalent to the passing of the Pre-University Course itself with the result that such certificate-holders were declared eligible to join the Degree course in the University. Three such examinations equivalent to the passing of the Pre-University Course were: (1) The Higher Secondary Certificate awarded by the States or Statutory Boards of Higher Education; (2) All India Higher Secondary Examination or the Higher Secondary Examination conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi; and (3) Indian School Certificate Examination conducted by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, New Delhi. After the new pattern was decided upon, these bodies themselves switched over to ten years school course. The certificates granted by these bodies at the end of the 10-year course were treated as equivalent to the passing of the Matriculation examination by several Universities - by some Universities unconditionally and by some Universities subject to certain conditions. We are concerned in the present cases with the examinations conducted by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations and the Certificates issued by the said Council popularly known as Indian Certificate of Secondary Education examination

3. From the regulations of 1971 relating to the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education placed before us, it is clear that the subjects in which students could appear for the examination at the end the 10th class were divided into two groups - Group I consisting of compulsory subjects, namely, (1) English Language and Literature, (2) A second Language, (3) Mathematics or Modern Mathematics, (4) Indian History and Culture (including Civics), (5) Geography, and (6) Science, i.e., Physics, Chemistry, Biology; and Group II consisting of additional subjects, namely: (1) Art, (2) Woodwork or Metal work/with technical drawing, (3) Elements of Home Science, (4) Elements of Accounts, and (5) Shorthand and Typewriting with Office Practice. The regulations provided:

All candidates for the examination must enter and sit for all the subjects in Group I and may offer not more than two of the additional subjects in Group II, at one and the same examination.

The conditions for the award of a certificate under the regulations were as follows:

D-1. Certificates will be awarded to candidates who reach a prescribed minimum aggregate of marks in all the subjects offered under Group I and at least attain the pass standard in three subjects.

2. A Statement (as distinct from the Certificate awarded under D-1 above) will be issued to each candidate to indicate the standard of performance in each subject irrespective of whether the pass standard has been attained or not.

3. A school report, in a standard form prescribed by the Council, will be issued to each candidate, by the Head of the School.

A perusal of the above provisions will clearly show the following : (1) A candidate must enter and sit for all the six subjects called the compulsory subjects enumerated under Group I, but there was no requirement that he should attain the pass standard in all the six subjects. (2) A candidate may or may not offer additional subjects and if he offers he may not offer more than two of them. (3) The conditions for the grant of a certificate are only two, namely: (i) a candidate must reach a prescribed minimum aggregate of marks in all the subjects offered under Group I; and (ii) he should at least attain the pass standard in three subjects. It is pertinent to point out here that 'the pass standard' in three subjects need not necessarily be in the three subjects in Group I, and it may include the two additional subjects also in Group II, because the requirement as to a candidate reaching the prescribed minimum aggregate of marks in all the subjects offered under Group I is not repeated to show that the pass standard in three subjects must be in three subjects in Group I. (4) The regulations themselves do not say the prescribed minimum aggregate of marks in all the subjects offered under Group I and also as to what is the pass standard in any one subject.

4. On the basis of the above regulations, the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations wrote to the University of Madras on 21st April, 1971 requesting the University to consider the question of granting recognition to the I.C.S.E. (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education Examination) introduced by the said Council in 1970 as equivalent to the Matriculation Examination. The letter stated that eight Universities, namely: Bangalore, Bombay, Calcutta, Calicut, Dibrugarh, Kerala, Punjab and Rajasthan had already recognised the said examination as equivalent to the corresponding examinations in their States permitting candidates to enter the Pre-University class. This letter mentioned the material provisions of the regulations which we ourselves have already extracted. After having referred to those material provisions, in paragraph 6 of its letter, the Council stated:

As stated in paragraph (S) above a certificate will be awarded to a candidate who gains a minimum aggregate with pass in at least three subjects. If, however, the University requires that candidates must attain a pass standard in a certain minimum number of subjects this may kindly be intimated to the Council and Schools will be informed accordingly.

This request of the Council was considered by the Courses Committee of the Syndicate of the University. That Committee was of the view, 'attain the pass standard in 3 subjects must be deleted as otherwise core subjects like Mathematics and Sciences may suffer a neglect on the part of the student.' This view of the Courses Committee of the Syndicate of the University was accepted and the Syndicate on 23rd October, 1971 passed the following resolution:

Resolved that the Indian Certificate of the Secondary Education Examination (Class X) be recognised as equivalent to the Matriculation Examination of this University for purposes of admission to the Pre-University Course, subject to the condition that the candidate should obtain 40% of the marks in the subjects of (1) English Language and Literature, (2) Mathematics or Modern Mathematics, and (3) Science, i.e., Physics, Chemistry and Biology and 35% in the other compulsory subjects and pass the whole-examination at one sitting.

The resolution of the Syndicate was. communicated to the Council of I.C.S. E. Examinations on 12th November,, 1971. On 16th November, 1971 the Council acknowledged the letter and added that they noted that the I.C.S.E. Examination is recognised by the University as equivalent to the Matriculation Examination for purposes of admission to the Pre-University Course, subject to the conditions referred to already.

5. The regulations of the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education were somewhat modified in 1974. The material alterations for the purpose of the present cases are concerned only with what is contained in the said regulations as 'Awards and conditions for awards'. The said provisions is as follows:

D. Awards and Conditions for Awards:

1. CERTIFICATES will be awarded to candidates who reach a prescribed minimum aggregate of marks in all subjects offered under Group I and at least attain the pass standard in five subjects which must include the subject English.

2. STATEMENTS OF SUCCESS will be awarded to candidates who reach a prescribed minimum aggregate of marks in all the subjects offered under Group I and attain the pass standard in three or four subjects which must include the subject English.

3. SUPPLEMENTARY STATEMENTS OF SUCCESS will be issued to all candidates who have been awarded CERTIFICATES or STATEMENTS OF SUCCESS and who appear in a subsequent examination and reach the pass standard in one or more subjects.

4. STATEMENTS OF MARKS will be issued to all candidates who are awarded Certificates/Statements of Success/Supplementary Statements of Success.

5. Statements of results will be issued at the request of the Head of the School concerned, to candidates who are not awarded Certificates/Statements of Success.

6. A copy of the regulations of 1975 has also been placed before us. But we are not sure whether they are different regulations or merely regulations of 1974 with 1975 printed by mistake. In any event that does not have any consequence because there is no change in the relevant provisions with which we are concerned.

7. On a reading of the regulations of the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education of 1971 and 1974, the following things are clear:

(1) There is no provision in the regulations providing for a pass in the examinations as a whole and they merely refer to attaining the pass standard in particular subjects. (2) The regulations of 1971 provided for attainment of pass standard in three subjects, in addition to reaching a prescribed minimum aggregate of marks in all the subjects offered under Group I. But there is no prescription as to what those three subjects should be. However, the regulations of 1974, stated that in addition to reaching a prescribed minimum aggregate of marks in all the subjects offered under Group I, a candidate should attain the pass standard in five subjects and also provided that those five subjects must include the subject English. (3) The regulations of 1971. contemplated awarding of a certificate-only apart from the issue of a statement. However, the regulations of 1974, contemplated, in addition to the award of certificates, award of statements of success and also issue of supplementary statements of success. The difference between the award of certificate and the statement of success is that though in both the cases the candidate must reach a prescribed minimum aggregate of marks in: all the subjects offered under Group I, in the case of award of certificate, he must attain a pass standard in five subjects which must include the subject of English and for the award of statement of success, he must attain pass standard in three or four subjects which must include the subject of English. Supplementary statement of success is to be issued to all candidates who have been awarded certificates and statements of success and who appear for a subsequent examination and reach the pass standard in one or more subjects. Obviously the supplementary statement of success is intended to be issued in order to enable as candidate to obtain a pass standard in certain subjects which he failed to attain in the previous examination, even though as a result of the previous examination he was awarded a certificate or statement of success.

8. As far as the University is concerned, at the instance of a member of the Syndicate, the resolution of the Syndicate passed on 23rd October, 1971 with reference to the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education Examination was reviewed by the Courses Committee of the Syndicate in December, 1975 - January, 1976, and the said Courses Committee unanimously reaffirmed the earlier decision.

9. The petitioners in the various petitions before us have appeared for the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education Examination of 10-year course and have been awarded certificates by the Council. They sought admissions to the Colleges approved by the University for providing tuition in the Pre-University Course. In a few cases they were denied admission and in a few other cases they were provisionally admitted, but subsequently their admissions were cancelled. In either case the ground was that the petitioners had not satisfied the requirement of the University with regard to the percentage of marks in the various subjects as provided for in the resolution of the Syndicate referred to already. The facts relating to the various petitioners in these writ petitions and the relief they have claimed in them are as hereunder:

________________________________________________________________________________________

Writ Tear in which Whether denied

Petition candidate appeared Percentage of admission or provi- Prayer in the

No. for the I.C.S.E. marks obtained sionally selected and Writ Petition.

examination. by the candidate subsequently the said

admission was

cancelled.

(1) (2) (3) (4) (5)

_________________________________________________________________________________________

2372/76 December 1975 English 60% For the issue of a writ

Hindi 40% of mandamus directing

the University of Madras

History 46% to treat the petitioner's

Geography 35% pass in the I.C.S.E. exa-

Modern mination as nconditiona-

Maths. 35% lly equivalent to a pass

Science 44% Denied admission in the Matriculation Exa-

mination of the Madras

University and to enable

the petitioner to enter

upon a University Course

of Study in the Pre-

University Class in any

of the affiliated

Colleges.

2460/76 December 1975 English 48% Do.

French 50%

History 38%

Geography 30% Denied admission

Maths. 66%

Science 50%

3375/76 December 1975 English 50% Provisionally Do.

Tamil 64% admitted but

History 54% subsequently

Geography 28% admission can-

Modern called.

Maths. 48%

Science 62%

2602/76 December 1975 English 44% Provisionally admit- For the issue of a writ

Malayalam 60% ted in the Women's of mandamus directing

History 42% Chirstian College, the University of Mad-

Geography 46% Madras, but on 26th ras to treat the petit-

Maths. 35% June, 1976, the ioner's pass in the

Science 50% admission was can- I.C.S.E. Examination

called. as unconditionally

equivalent to a pass

in Matriculation

Examination of the

Madras University to

enable the petitioner

to prosecute her course

of study in the Pre-

University Class in

Women's Christian

College, Madras.

3422/76 December 1975 English 42% Provisionally admit- For the issue of a writ

Tamil 52% ted, but subse- of mandamus directing

History 35% quently admission the Univirsity of Madr-

Geography 25% cancelled. as to treat the petiti-

Maths. 52% oner's pass in the

Science 35% I.C.S.E. Examination as

unconditionally equiva-

lent to a pass in Marti-

culation examination

of the Madras University

to enable the petitioner

to prosecute his course

of study in the Pre-

University Class in the

New College, Madras.

3383/76 December 1975 English 44% Do. For the issue of a writ

French 44% of certiorari filed to

History 44% quash the communication

Geography 28% cancelling the admission

Maths. 48% and to issue necessary

Science 56% directions to allow the

petitioner to continue

his Pre-University

Course in the New

College in which he was

provisionally admitted.

3439/76 December 1975 English 52% Do. Do.

Tamil 52%

History 44%

Geography 28%

Maths. 52%

Science 46%

10. The certificate contains a note that the pass mark for each subject is 35%.

11. Thus it will be seen that the petitioners in W.P. Nos. 2372 and 2602 of 1976 did not satisfy the requirement of the University since they obtained only - 35% in Modern Mathematics/Mathematics as against 40% prescribed by the University. The petitioners in the other writ petitions obtained less than 35% in Geography, one of the subjects included as a compulsory subject in Group I of, the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education Examination as against 35% prescribed by the University. In view of this, admittedly they did not satisfy the requirement of the University and consequently with reference to their denial of admission or provisional admission and the subsequent cancellation, they will not be entitled to any relief from this Court, provided the University had the power to prescribe the conditions which it did.

12. It is under these circumstances that the learned Counsel for the petitioners advanced purely three legal arguments, to sustain the petitioners' prayers for the reliefs referred to in the various writ petitions: (1) The Syndicate of the University had only a power to recognise an examination equivalent to the Matriculation examination conducted by it and had no power to impose conditions, while so recognising the equivalent. (2) Even if the Syndicate is said to have possessed such a power, the exercise of that power in the instant case is unreasonable and the conditions imposed by the Syndicate of the University are unenforceable and have to be ignored. (3) Once the said conditions are ignored, on the basis of severability, the recognition of equivalent will stand and therefore the petitioners are entitled to the reliefs they have prayed for in the various writ petitions.

13. We shall now consider these submissions in the order referred to above.

14. As far as the first submission is concerned, it was advanced solely on the basis of the language contained in the various provisions of the Madras University Act, 1923, hereinafter referred to as the Act. The powers of the Syndicate of the University have been enumerated in Section 19 of the Act. One of the powers so enumerated is contained in Clause (p) of that section and the same is as follows:

to make Ordinances regarding the admission of students to the University or prescribing examinations to be recognised as equivalent to University examinations.

Section 31 of the Act enumerates what the Ordinances to be made by the Syndicate may provide for and Section 31(a) is:

the admission of students to the University and the levy of fees in University colleges and laboratories;

The residuary clause of this Section 31 is contained in Section 31(i) and the same is as follows:

All matters which by this Act or by the Statutes may be provided for by the Ordinances.

The immediate statutory provision is Section 36 and the same section, omitting Sub-section (5) which is not relevant for the purpose of these cases, is as follows:

36. (1) No person shall be admitted to the pre-University course or other-entrance courses of study in the University unless he-

(i) has passed the Matriculation examination; or

(ii) holds the Secondary-Leaving Certificate and has been declared eligible by the Syndicate under conditions prescribed by the University authorities concerned for such course or courses of study; or

(iii) has passed an examination of any other University or authority recognised by the Syndicate as equivalent to the examinations specified in Clause (i) or Clause (ii); and

(iv) fulfils such other conditions as may be prescribed by the Syndicate.

(2) No person shall be admitted to a course of study in the University for admission to the examination for degrees of the University in Arts and Science unless he-

(i) has passed the pre-University examination of the University; or

(ii) has passed an examination of any other University or authority recognised by the Syndicate as equivalent to the examination referred to in Clauses. (i) and (iii) fulfils such other conditions as may be prescribed by the Syndicate.

(3) No person shall be admitted to a course of study in the University for admission to the examination for a professional degree of the University unless he-

(i) has passed the relevant examination prescribed therefor by the Syndicate;

(ii) has obtained such minimum percentage of marks in such subjects in the relevant examination as may be prescribed by the Syndicate; and

(iii) fulfils such other conditions as may be prescribed by the Syndicate.

(4) No person shall be admitted to any course of study for admission to the examinations for titles, diplomas or certificates of the University unless he-

(i) has passed the entrance test prescribed therefor by the Syndicate; and

(ii) fulfils such other conditions as may be prescribed by the Syndicate.

The argument of the learned Counsel for the petitioners is based primarily on the language of Section 36(1)(iii) and the contrast that exists between the language of the said provision and the language contained in Section 36(3)(i) and (ii). The contention is that Section 36(1)(iii) only enables the Syndicate to recognise an examination as equivalent to the examination specified in Clause (i) or Clause (ii) of Section 36(1) and that it does not confer any power on the Syndicate to impose conditions or qualifications, while so recognising an equivalent examination and that the absence of that power in Section 36(1)(iii) is apparent when the language of that provision is contrasted with the language of Section 36(3)(ii) because Section 36(3)(ii) expressly provides for the Syndicate prescribing the minimum percentage of marks and the subjects in which the said minimum percentage of marks should be obtained by a candidate. This argument is countered by the learned Counsel appearing for the University by putting forward the contention that the provisions of Section 19(p) and 31(a) are comprehensive enough to include the power to impose such conditions and that in any event Section 36(1)(iv) confers a power on the Syndicate to require a candidate to fulfil such other conditions as may be prescribed by it and the conditions prescribed in the present cases will fall within the scope of that provision.

15. After a careful consideration we have come to the conclusion that the Syndicate had the power to prescribe the conditions which it did. It may be noted in passing that the provisions of the Act cannot be said to be a model for elegance or felicity in drafting. For instance, some sections use the expression, 'admission to the University', some other sections use the expression, 'admission to the examination conducted by the University' and certain other sections use the expression, 'admission to a course leading to an examination conducted by the University.' As we have seen already, Section 19(p), uses the expression, 'admission to the University'. Similarly Section 31(a) uses the expression, 'admission of students to the University'. But Section 36 in all its four sub-sections refers to admission to a particular course or admission to the examination of the University. Section 35 actually uses the expression, 'No candidate shall be admitted to any University examination unless...'. Notwithstanding this use of the different expressions, we are clearly of the opinion that Section 19(p) and Section 31(a) deal with the same matter and Section 36 is referable to the power mentioned in Sections 19(p) and 31(a). As a matter of fact, Section 36 is not a section dealing with the power of the Syndicate at all and the scope and extent of the power of the Syndicate has to be traced to Section 19 read with Section 31. Section 19(p) uses the general expression, 'to make Ordinances regarding the admission of students to the University of prescribing examinations to be recognised as equivalent to University examinations.' The expression, 'to make Ordinances regarding the admission of students to the University' is wide enough to cover all matters dealing with or connected with the admission of the students to the University. Section 31(a) dealing with the contents of an Ordinance uses the identical expression, namely, 'admission of students to the University.' Thus, an Ordinance made by the Syndicate can provide for all matters connected with and regarding the admission of the students to the University and one such matter can certainly be the eligibility for admission to a course leading to an examination conducted by the University. When Section 36(1)(iii) refers to an examination of any other University or authority recognised by the Syndicate, it does not confer a separate power on the Syndicate by itself. It merely refers to the exercise of the power which the Syndicate already possesses under Section 19(p) with reference to the particular aspect of the admission of students to the University. In other words, the power of the Syndicate referred to in Section 36(1)(iii) is merely an instance of the exercise of the power which the Syndicate possesses under Section 19(p) and therefore the scope of the power of the Syndicate under Section 36 has to be understood with reference to the language contained in Section 19(p).

16. We are also of the opinion that there is nothing in Section 36(1)(iii) itself restrictive of the power of the Syndicate to impose conditions when recognising an examination as equivalent to the other examinations mentioned in Section 36(1)(i) or 36(1)(ii). As a matter of fact, if Section 36(1)(iii) is construed strictly and technically, a portion of that provision will become meaningless. As we have extracted already, that provision states that a person should have passed an examination of any other University or authority recognised by the Syndicate as equivalent to the examinations specified in Clause (i), or Clause (ii) thereof. In fact, Clause (ii) does not refer to any examination at all, because it merely refers to a person who holds the Secondary-School Leaving Certificate and has been declared eligible by the Syndicate under conditions prescribed by the University authorities concerned for such course or other courses of study in the University and there is absolutely no reference to any examination in that clause. On the other hand, Section 36(1)(iii) proceeds on the basis that Clause (ii) does refer to an examination and the word actually used is much stronger, namely, 'specified'. If the words occurring in Section 36(1)(iii) are strictly and literally construed, proceeding on the basis of a specification of an examination in Clause (ii), and Clause (ii) not specifying any examination whatever, a portion of Section 36(1)(iii) will be meaningless. We are merely referring to this aspect of the matter in order to show that such a narrow construction is neither warranted nor called for. If we give a reasonable meaning to Section 36(1)(iii), we must-proceed on the basis that Clause (ii) of Section 36(1) does not specify any examination and the reference to a person holding the Secondary-School Leaving Certificate and being declared eligible by the Syndicate for the Pre-University course assumes such an examination and the granting of the Secondary-School Leaving Certificate on the basis of passing in such examination.

17. We are also of the opinion that Section 36(1)(iii) is not confined to the recognition of mere equivalent only. Section 36(1) refers only to two examinations in Clauses (i) and (ii) thereof and the Legislature must have been aware that there were other examinations conducted by other Universities and authorities which may lead to the Pre-University course or other entrance courses of Universities. In order to take note of such examinations and with a view to give an opportunity to persons passing those examinations also to enter the University, the third clause of Section 36(1) has been introduced. Such examinations conducted by other Universities and authorities may not all be of the same standard or of the same pattern. Under-such circumstances, it would be the ordinary duty of the Syndicate to scrutinise the course leading to such an examination and the contents and standards of such examination and on the basis of such scrutiny to recognise or not to recognise the passing of such examination as equivalent to the examinations specified in Clause (i) or Clause (ii). In view of the possibility of the absence of uniformity among such examinations, the Syndicate has necessarily to deal with each such examination on its own merits and' prescribe the necessary conditions or qualifications before recognising a pass therein as equivalent to the examinations specified in Clause (i) or Clause (ii). Under such circumstances, to construe Section 36(1)(iii) narrowly so as to imply that under that provision the Syndicate can either recognise an examination as equivalent to the other examinations mentioned in that sub-section or refuse to so recognise and can do nothing more, Or in other words, to construe the said provision in the manner of 'yes' or 'no' will be to deny recognition to many examinations and consequently to rob the candidates passing those examinations of the opportunity of entering the University. As a matter of fact, it is one of the principles of interpretation of statutes that a statutory provision should not be so interpreted as to fail to reach a very large proportion of things, matters or persons sought to be covered by the statute. It is equally well-settled that if the choice is between two interpretations the narrower of which would fail to achieve the manifest purpose of the legislation, the Court should avoid a construction which would lead the legislation to futility or render the same ineffective and should rather accept the construction based on the view that the Legislature would legislate only for the purpose of bringing about an effective result. Therefore, in our opinion, Section 36(1)(iii) itself is capable of enabling the Syndicate to prescribe conditions, while recognising an examination as equivalent to its Matriculation examination.

18. As far as the present case is concerned, we may point out that the regulations of the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education themselves do not provide for the passing of an examination as such, as pointed out by us already. The regulations merely talk of a candidate attaining a pass standard in one or more subjects. This can be usefully contrasted with the Ordinance of the University dealing with the passing of its Matriculation examination. The relevant Ordinance, namely, Ordinance No. XLI, Volume 2 of the Calendar of the Madras University, 1970, in paragraph 5 thereof provides:

A candidate shall be declared to have passed the examination, if he obtains not less than 35% of the marks in each of the Divisions, provided that a candidate who fails to obtain the required minimum in one Division only but who passes in English and gains 50% of the total marks in the whole examination shall be declared to have passed. All the other candidates shall be deemed to have failed in the examination.

Therefore, when a University or authority which conducts an examination itself does not specify the conditions under which a candidate shall be deemed to have passed its examination, there is absolutely nothing to prevent the Syndicate of the University from prescribing conditions under which it will recognise a candidate as having passed that examination. This is merely an alternative aspect of the matter.

19. Now let us consider the contention, based on the difference in language between Section 36(1)(iii) and Section 36(3)(i) and (ii). In our opinion, the difference in the language does not inevitably lead to the conclusion that Section 36(1)(iii) denies such a power to the University. Section 36(3) deals with an entirely different situation. In contrast with Section 36(1) and Section 36(2), it can be seen that Section 36(3) itself does not specify any examination. While Section 36(1) refers to the Matriculation-examination and the examination leading to the Secondary School Leaving Certificate and Section 36(2) refers to the Pre-University examination, Section 36(3) leaves the entire matter to the discretion of the Syndicate itself by stating that a candidate should have passed the relevant examination prescribed by the Syndicate for admission to a course of study' for admission to the examination for a particular professional degree and should have obtained such minimum percentage of marks in such subjects in the relevant examination as may be prescribed by the Syndicate. The prescription of the examination as well as the prescription of the minimum percentage of marks and the subjects in which such minimum percentage of marks should be obtained have all been left to the Syndicate under Section 36(3). 'The relevant examination' referred to in Section 36(3)(i) may be an examination conducted by the University itself or it may be some other examination. Consequently, Section 36(3) which leaves the entire matter to the discretion of the University cannot be contrasted with a provision like Section 36(1)(iii) for the purpose of ascertaining the respective scope of the powers of the authorities. In view of this, we are of the opinion that from the language of Section 36(1) and (2), we cannot hold that while functioning under Section 36(1)(iii) the Syndicate has no power to prescribe the qualifications it has done in the present case.

20. Even assuming that the Syndicate cannot prescribe the conditions which it did under Section 36(1)(iii) nor can it do it under Section 19(p) read with Section 31(a), we are of the opinion that Section 36(1)(iv) will enable the Syndicate to prescribe the conditions in question. We may point out in this context that Section 36(1)(iv) is : 'fulfils such other conditions as may be prescribed by the Syndicate'. Such a clause occurs in all the four sub-sections of Section 36, as can be seen from the extract of the section we have given already. From the very nature of the case, such a clause is intended to be a residuary clause, namely, dealing with the power of the Syndicate to prescribe conditions apart from the conditions, stipulations or qualifications that are contained or that may be prescribed under the other clauses of the respective sub-sections. Consequently the scope of this clause in each of the sub-sections will vary depending upon the matters expressly and specifically provided in the other clauses of the concerned subsections. Being a residuary provision, it can deal only with matters other than those expressly provided for in the other clauses. Hence, there is nothing to prevent the Syndicate from imposing a condition that a candidate should obtain not less than 40% in English, Mathematics and Science and 35% in the other compulsory subjects, in exercise of its powers under Section 36(1)(iv), while recognising the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education as equivalent to its Matriculation examination under Section 36(1)(iii). As we have pointed out already, the content of this residuary clause will vary according to the specific matters mentioned in the other clauses or the particular sub-section and therefore with reference to the residuary clause in Sub-section (3) of Section 36, it may not clothe the Syndicate with power to prescribe the minimum percentage of marks in particular subjects in the relevant examination, since the same has already been provided for in Section 36(3)(ii). But that does not mean that the provision, namely, 'fulfils such other conditions as may be prescribed by the Syndicate', though occurs in identical terms in all the four sub-sections, should be taken to have conferred the same scope of power and therefore simply because under Section 36(3) the said clause does not confer the power on the Syndicate to prescribe the minimum percentage of marks in a particular subject, the said clause occurring in identical words in Section 36(1) should also be construed in the identical manner. After all, that when a word is repeated in the same section it should bear the same meaning in both the places is, no more than a presumption and even though the same word or same set of words is repeated in the same section, still it can have different meanings depending upon the context in which the word or set of words has been used. Consequently we reach the conclusion that the Syndicate had the power to prescribe the conditions in question even under Section 36(1)(iv) of the Act.

21. The result is, on the first point urged before us, our conclusion is that the conditions prescribed by the Syndicate while granting recognition to the examination conducted by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations cannot be said to be ultra vires or beyond the powers of the Syndicate under the provisions of the Act.

22. As far as the second point is concerned, it was urged on the basis of the well known decision in Kruse v. Johnson (1898) 2 Q.B. 91 , and also on the basis of the contention that in this case the Central Government as well as all the Universities except the Madras and the Madurai Universities have recognised the examination in question as equivalent to the entrance examination of the respective Universities and that the Madras University and the Madurai University are the only Universities which have adopted this attitude and that this will have the effect of preventing the petitioners herein from entering the University itself. In Kruse v. Johnson (1898) 2 Q.B. 91 , after considering what a by-law was and what safeguard the statute had provided with reference to the making of the by-law, Lord Russell, C.J., stated:

I have thought it well to deal with these points in some detail, and for this reason that the great majority of the cases in which the question of bylaws has been discussed are not cases of by-laws of bodies of a public representative character entrusted by Parliament with delegated authority, but are for the most part cases of railway companies, dock companies, or other like companies, which carry on their business for their own profit, although incidentally for the advantage of the public. In this class of cases it is right that the Courts should jealously watch the exercise of these powers, and guard against their unnecessary or unreasonable exercise to the public disadvantage. But, when the Court is called upon to consider the by-laws of public representative bodies clothed with the ample authority which I have described, and exercising that authority accompanied by the checks and safeguards which have been mentioned, I think the consideration of such by-laws ought to be approached from a different standpoint. They ought to be supported if possible. They ought to be, as has been said, 'benevolently' interpreted, and credit ought to be given to those who have to administer them that they will be reasonably administered. This involves the introduction of no new canon of construction. But, further, looking to the character of the body legislating under the delegated authority of Parliament, to the subject-matter of such legislation, and to the nature and extent of the authority given to deal with matters which concern them, and in the manner which to them shall seem meet, I think Courts of justice ought to be slow to condemn as invalid any by-law, so made under such conditions, on the ground of supposed unreasonableness. Notwithstanding what Cockburn, C.J., said in Bailey v. Williamson (1873) L.R. 8 Q.B. 118 , an analogous case, I do not mean to say that there may not be cases in which it would be the duty of the Court to condemn bylaws, made under such authority as these were made, as invalid because unreasonable. But unreasonable in what sense? If, for instance, they were found to be partial and unequal in their operation as between different classes, if they were manifestly unjust; if they disclosed bad faith, if they involved such oppressive or gratuitous interference with the rights of those subject to them as could find no justification in the minds of reasonable men, the Court might Well say, 'Parliament never intended to give authority to make such rules; they are unreasonable and ultra vires. But it is in this sense, and in this case only, as I conceive, that the question of unreasonableness can properly be regarded. A by-law is not unreasonable merely because particular judges may think that it goes further than is prudent or necessary or convenient, or because it is not accompanied by a qualification or an exception which some judges may think ought to be there. Surely it is not too much to say that in matters which directly and mainly concern the people of the country, who have the right to choose those whom they think best fitted to represent them in their local government bodies, such representatives may be trusted to understand their own requirements better than judges. Indeed, if the question of the validity of by-laws were to be determined by the opinion of judges as to what was reasonable in the narrow sense of that word, the cases in the books on this subject are no guide; for they reveal as indeed one would expect, a wide diversity of judicial opinion, and they lay down no principle or definite standard by which reasonableness or unreasonableness may be tested.

We have extracted in extenso from the said judgment since the above extract will cover practically all aspects of the matter in question.

23. In a subsequent decision, namely, Associated Provincial Picture Houses Limited v. Wednesbury Corporation (1948) 1 K.B. 223 , Lord Greene, M.R., said:

But once it is conceded, as it must be conceded in this case, that the particular subject-matter dealt with by this condition was one which it was competent for the authority to consider, there, in my opinion, is an end of the case. Once that is granted, Mr. Gallop, is bound to say that the decision of the authority is wrong because it is unreasonable, and in saying that he is really saying that the ultimate arbiter of what is and is not reasonable is the Court and not the local authority. It is just there, it seems to me, that the argument breaks down. It is clear that the local authority are entrusted by Parliament with the decision on a matter which the knowledge and experience of that authority can best be trusted to deal with. The subject-matter with which the condition deals is one relevant for its consideration. They have considered it and come to a decision upon it. It is true to say that, if a decision in a competent matter is so unreasonable that no reasonable authority could ever have come to it, then the Courts can interfere. That I think, is quite right, but to prove a case of that kind would require something overwhelming, and, in this case, the facts do not come anywhere near anything of that kind. I think Mr. Gallop, in the end agreed that his proposition that the decision of the local authority can be upset if it is proved to be unreasonable, really meant that it must be proved to be unreasonable in the sense that the Court considers it to be a decision that no reasonable body could have come to. It is not what the Court considers unreasonable, a different thing altogether. If it is what the Court considers unreasonable, the Court may very well have different views to that of a local authority on matters of high public policy of this kind. Some Courts might think that no children ought to be admitted on Sundays at all, some Courts might think the reverse, and all over the country I have no doubt on a thing of that sort honest and sincere people hold different views. The effect of the legislation is not to set up the Court as an arbiter of the correctness of one view over another. It is the local authority that are set in that position and, provided they act, as they have acted, within the four corners of their jurisdiction, this Court, in my opinion, cannot interfere.

24. The above pronouncements make it clear that a Court cannot sit in judgment as if it were an Appellate Authority over the wisdom of a particular body which made the subordinate legislation or passed the by-law or prescribed the conditions or qualifications and come to a conclusion differing from the one which that body took on the reasonableness or otherwise of such subordinate legislation, by-laws or conditions or qualifications. The principle is that only when it is established that no reasonable person could have come to such a conclusion or could have made such a by-law or subordinate legislation, the Court can interfere. It should not be forgotten that in the present case the body which was entrusted with the power is the Syndicate of the University which may be considered to be an expert body in relation to matters on education. Whether one considered it to be an expert body or not, the Legislature thought fit to consider such a body as an expert body on matters relating to education and has chosen to confer the power on such a body. Therefore unless the Court is convinced that the conditions prescribed in the present case are so unreasonable as no reasonable person would have come to or are alien or foreign to the purpose for which the power was conferred on the Syndicate, the Court cannot hold that the conditions imposed by the Syndicate are unreasonable as to avoid the same.

25. It is in this context only that the learned Counsel for the University drew our attention to a decision of the Court of Appeal in Cumings and Ors. v. Birkenhead Corporation (1971) 2 All E.R. 881 . In that case, the borough council of Birkenhead decided that all the children from the Roman Catholic Primary Schools could comfortably be accommodated in the Roman Catholic Secondary Schools. That resolution of the borough council was challenged. Dealing with that question, Lord Denning, M.R., said:

So, here, if this education authority were to allocate boys to particular schools according to the colour of their hair or, for that matter, the colour of their skin, it would be so unreasonable, so capricious, so irrelevant to any proper system of education that it would be ultra vires altogether, and this Court would strike it down at once. But, if there were valid educational reasons for a policy, as, for instance, in an area where immigrant children were backward in the English tongue and needed special teaching, then it would be perfectly right to allocate those in need to special schools where they would be given extra facilities for learning English. In short, if the policy is one which could reasonably be upheld for good educational reasons, it is valid. But, if it is so unreasonable that no reasonable authority could entertain it, it is invalid.

Can it be said in the present case that the conditions prescribed by the Syndicate of the University are extraneous or not based on educational policy? We are of the opinion that the conditions imposed by the Syndicate in this case cannot be said to be extraneous or unconnected with educational policy. As a matter of fact, they are intimately connected with the educational policy. It is worthwhile pointing out in this context that the petitioners in these writ petitions have undergone a 10-year school course, while the candidates appearing for the Matriculation examination conducted by the University or the Secondary School Leaving Certificate examination undergo a 11-year school course. Consequently if the University requires that the candidates who have undergone a shorter duration of school course than the one undergone by the candidates appearing for the examinations referred to above should show a better performance by obtaining a higher percentage of marks for being eligible for admission to the Pre-University Course of the University, it cannot be contended that the requirement of the University is unreasonable. It is argued on behalf of the petitioners that when the very same council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations were having a 11-year school course, the certificate granted at the end of the 11th year examination was treated as equivalent to the Pre-University Course of the University and that now what has happened is, a reduction of one year in the duration of the course and that therefore the grant of the certificate at the end of the 10th year must be unconditionally recognised as equivalent to the Matriculation examination of the University. The syllabus and the regulations relating to the 11-year course were not placed before us and therefore we are not in a position to judge under what circumstances the University had recognised the certificates obtained at the end of the 11-year course as equivalent to passing the Pre-University examination of the University. All that we find in the papers placed before us is that with reference to that certificate, the Syndicate had resolved:

Indian School Certificate Examination from March, 1964 or subsequent years will be recognised as equivalent to the Pre-University Examination of this University for purposes of admission to a degree course in this University provided the candidates have passed the examination with a minimum of five subjects in one or more sittings, for the course concerned of which English should be one.

There is a reference to a minimum of five subjects in this resolution and we do not know whether it is because the regulations themselves did not insist upon the attainment of pass standard in five subjects the Syndicate had to insist upon it. In the absence of more particulars, we are not in a position to say anything with reference thereto and all that we are now concerned with is, whether the Syndicate can be said to have acted unreasonably when it, with reference to the regulations now placed before us concerning the 10-year school course, imposed the conditions referred to above.

26. It is obvious from the resolution of the Syndicate itself that it attaches greater importance to three subjects, namely, English, Mathematics and Science. On the other hand, there is nothing to show that Indian Certificate of Secondary Education regulations themselves attached the same importance. As we have pointed out already, the regulations of 1971 required a pass standard only in three subjects in addition to obtaining a prescribed minimum aggregate of marks in all the subjects offered under Group I. We have already referred to the six subjects falling under Group I and the five subjects falling under Group II. Therefore, certainly if a person had attained a pass standard in two additional subjects under Group II and one subject under Group I, in addition to obtaining a prescribed minimum aggregate of marks in all the subjects offered under Group I, he would have been granted a certificate by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination. If he had attained a pass standard in only one subject under Group I, certainly that will not show that he had attained proficiency in English, Mathematics and Science. Even assuming that he had not appeared for any of the subjects under Group II and that he had appeared for all the six compulsory subjects under Group I, still he might have attained a pass standard only in three subjects, namely, Second language, Indian History and Culture and Geography and he might not have attained a pass standard in English, Science and Mathematics, but he would have been granted a Certificate by the Council. If, under those, circumstances, the Syndicate of the

University thought fit to impose a condition that a candidate should have attained a pass standard in English, Mathematics and Science, can it be said that the Syndicate was unreasonable? If it cannot be said so, certainly the requirement that a candidate should have obtained 40% in those subjects cannot be said to be unreasonable. Equally the requirement that a candidate should have obtained 35% in the other compulsory subjects cannot also be said to be unreasonable.

27. The position is worse with reference to the regulations of 1974 under which the petitioners appeared for the examination. In addition to award of certificates, the regulations of 1974 contemplate award of statements of success and the issue of supplementary statements of success. We have already referred to the difference between the two. In the absence of any provision in the regulations themselves as to when a candidate can be declared to have passed the examination, the award of certificate as well as the award of statement of success can be taken to denote the passing of the examination as such. Between the award of a certificate and the award of a statement of success, the regulations themselves contemplate a difference, since for the award of a certifiate, a candidate should attain pass standard at least in five subjects, while for the award of a statement of success it is enough if a candidate attains pass standard in three or four subjects. Consequently it is clear that even under the regulations themselves, the award of a certificate implies a higher standard of performance than one for the award of a statement of success. Under such circumstances, can it be claimed that the Syndicate should unconditionally recognise the award of the certificate or the statement of success as equivalent to passing the Marticulation examination of the University? We have no hesitation whatever in holding that having regard to the regulations of the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education, the Syndicate cannot be said to have acted unreasonably in prescribing the qualifications or imposing the conditions which it had done.

28. We have already referred to the fact that it was contended on behalf of the petitioners that the Central Government as well as all the other Universities in the country except the Madras and the Madurai Universities have unconditionally recognised the certificate of the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations for admission to the Pre-University courses of their respective Universities. But we find that this contention is not factually correct. Our attention was drawn to a resolution of the Inter-University Board of India and Ceylon. That resolution passed by the Equivalance Committee and the Standing Committee of the Inter-University Board (extracted in the letter No. EV/II (158)/73/21572, dated 19th October, 1973 from the Evaluation Officer, Inter-University Board of India and Ceylon, Rouse Avenue, New Delhi-1, to the Secretary, Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, New Delhi) stated:

Resolved that the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education Examination (Class X Examination) conducted by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations be treated as equivalent to the Matriculation Examination for purposes of employment provided the candidates have passed in at least 5 subjects.

Thus, it will be seen that that resolution had nothing whatever to do with the admission to any university and it was merely concerned with the qualification for employment. Even there it insisted upon a pass in at least five subjects. In the reply affidavit filed by the petitioner in W.P. No. 2372 of 1976, the following letter from the Under-Secretary to the Government of India, Cabinet Secretariat, (Letter No. 6/9/69 Estt. [D], dated 3rd August, 1974), is quoted:

The undersigned is directed to say that it has been decided in consultation with the Union Public Service Commission, to recognise Indian Certificate of Secondary Education Examination (Class X Examination) conducted by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations as equivalent to Matriculation Examination for the purpose of employment under the Central Government provided it is passed in five subjects which should include Mathematics, Science and at least two languages....

The above communication also shows that the recognition was only in connection with employment and even then the Government of India imposed a condition that a candidate should have passed in five subjects which should include Mathematics, Science and at least two languages. We may point out that the recognition of the grant of a certificate obtained after appearing for a particular examination as a sufficient qualification for employment is different from the recognition of the same for the purpose of pursuing further studies in a College or University

29. As far as recognition by the other Universities is concerned, it is not correct to state that all the Universities have recognised the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education Examination unconditionally as equivalent to their Matriculation Examination. For instance, the Bombay University has recognised the same, subject to the following condition as is apparent from the letter of the Registrar of the University, No. E1/C. 2308 of 1971, dated 12th April, 1971 addressed to the Secretary, Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, New Delhi, which is as follows:.the Syndicate at their last meeting resolved that the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education Examination of your Council be recognised as equivalent to the Matriculation Examination of this University for the purpose of admission to this University subject to the following condition:

If passed in the following subjects with at least 35 per cent, marks in each subject: viz. (1) English language and Literature, (2) A second language, (3) Mathematics or Modern Mathematics, (4) Indian History and Culture (including Civics) or Geography and (5) Science, i.e., Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

It is pertinent to point out that this resolution was passed at a time when the Council's regulations provided for attainment of pass standard of marks only in three subjects for the grant of a certificate.

30. The Calcutta University has taken different stands at different times. On 6th January, 1970, it wrote to the Council stating that the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education Examination conducted by the council had been recognised as equivalent to the School Final Examination of the Board of Secondary Education, West Bengal. Subsequently on 10th January, 1972, it wrote to the Council stating that in partial modification of the previous decision on the subject, a candidate who passed the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education Examination in English, one vernacular and any three subjects of Group I of the syllabus for the said examination, would be considered eligible for admission to the Pre-University Course of study under the University. Later, on 3rd June, 1974, the Assistant Registrar, Calcutta University, Calcutta, wrote to the Council stating that the students passing the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education Examination from the Council with four approved subjects would have to pass the School Final Examination from the Board of Secondary Education, West Bengal, in another subject before their admission to the Pre-University Class in a College under the said University.

31. The Guru Nanak University on 21st March, 1972 wrote to the Council stating that the Academic Council of that University had decided to recognise the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education Examination (Standard X Examination) conducted by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, New Delhi, as equivalent to the Matriculation Certificate from the admissions of 1972, provided the candidate had obtained pass marks in English, Mathematics and any other three subjects of Group I.

32. The Marathwada University on 24/28th March, 1972 wrote to the Council stating that the examination conducted by the Council was recognised for the purpose of admission to Pre-University Course classes in Arts/Science and Commerce of that University provided it is passed with at least six subject under Group I at the Public Examination, as mentioned below, securing not less than 35% marks in each subject and a Certificate which is distinct from a 'Statement of Marks' is awarded to the Candidate:

1. English Language and Literature,

2. Second Language,

3. Mathematics,

4. Indian History and Culture,

5. Geography and

6. Science, i.e., Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

Here again, it is relevant to note that this was decided when the 1971 regulations of the Council provided for attainment of pass standard only in three subjects for the grant of a certificate.

33. The Punjab University imposed a condition that a candidate should have obtained pass marks in the following (Subjects of Group I, namely,

(i) English,

(ii) Mathematics and

(iii) Any other three subjects.

This was in November, 1969.

34. The Rajasthan University in 1970 imposed a condition that a candidate should obtain pass marks in English, Hindi and any 3 subjects of Group I.

35. It is unnecessary to multiply instances and we are referring to all these matters only for the purpose of showing that all the Universities in the country have not unconditionally recognised the Indian Council of Secondary Education Certificate granted by the Council as equivalent to the passing of the Matriculation examination of their respective Universities. From this point of view also, we cannot say that the action of the University is singular or solitary and therefore can be termed as unreasonable,

36. With regard to the contention that the conditions imposed by the University have the effect of preventing the petitioners from entering the University itself, we may point out that the petitioners at the time when they sat for the examination conducted by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination should have known the conditions imposed by the University for recognition of that certificate. It is not as if the University originally granted an unconditional recognition and thereafter imposed the conditions after the students have undertaken the course on the strength of the original unconditional recognition. It is pertinent to point out here that even the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations would appear to have been fully aware of the possibility of the Universities like the Madras University insisting on a higher performance and that is the reason why in paragraph 6 of its letter, dated 21st April, 1971 addressed to the University requesting consideration of the question of recognition, which we have already referred to, the Council expressly stated that if the Madras University required that candidates must attain a pass standard in a certain minimum number of subjects, the same might kindly be intimated to the Council and the schools would be informed accordingly. Subsequently the Council on 16th November, 1971 acknowledged the receipt of the resolution of the Syndicate imposing the conditions. Therefore it was the duty of the Council to communicate, the said decision to the various schools offering the 10th standard Course under its regulations so that they might in turn inform the students accordingly. Under these circumstances, the fact that the imposition of the conditions has the effect of disabling the petitioners from joining the University cannot be a ground for holding that the conditions themselves are unreasonable and therefore on the second point urged before us we hold that the conditions imposed by the University while granting recognition in the instant case cannot be said to be unreasonable.

37. In view of our conclusion on points Nos. 1 and 2, it is unnecessary for us to consider the third point dealing with the severability of the conditions. Even if our conclusions on points Nos. 1 and 2 are not correct, still the petitioners are not entitled to the reliefs they have asked for. The learned Counsel for the petitioners contended that the theory of severability would operate so as to exclude the conditions and to sustain the recognition with the result that the recognition should be deemed to have been granted unconditionally. The basis of the argument is that if the Syndicate was advised that it had no power to impose the conditions concerned or that the said conditions were unreasonable, it would have simply granted recognition and that therefore this Court must hold, in the event of the conditions being either ultra vires or unreasonable, that the Syndicate would have granted recognition unconditionally and consequently the petitioners should be granted the reliefs which they have prayed for. We are unable to accept this argument. There is no controversy as to how the theory of severability has to be applied in a particular case. Only if it is satisfactorily established that a particular authority who had the power to make a rule or pass an order would still have made the rule or passed the order without conditions, if the said authority had been advised or it had realised that the said conditions would be invalid or ultra vires or unreasonable, the Court can hold that the conditions should be ignored and the other portion of the rule or the order should be sustained. On the other hand, if the making of the rule or any provision is patently dependent upon the existence of the conditions, the conditions alone cannot be ignored in the event of those conditions being invalid or ultra vires or unreasonable and the entire action will have to go. The position has been considered by the Supreme Court in Karimbil Kunhikomen and Anr. v. State of Kerala : AIR1962SC723 , with reference to the provisions of a statute. The Supreme Court observed:

The next question is whether these provisions are severable, that is to say, whether the Kerala Legislature would have passed the Act without those provisions. That depends upon the intention of the Legislature and as far as we can judge that intention from the provisions of the Act, it seems clear to us that the Legislature did not intend that the provisions relating to acquisition by tenants and ceilings should apply to plantations as defined in the Act so that they may have to be broken-up with consequent logs of production and detriment to national economy. It seems that the Legislature could not have intended in order to carry out the purpose of the legislation to do so even after breaking-up all the plantations which existed in the State. It follows therefore that the Legislature would not have passed the rest of the Act without the provisions relating to plantations.

As far as the present case is concerned to the extent to which we can judge the intention of the Syndicate from the materials placed before us, from what we have pointed out with reference to the provisions of the regulations of 1971 and 1974 of the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, and the view of the Courses Committee of the Syndicate in this behalf, and the terms of the resolution of the Syndicate, we are clearly of the opinion that it was not the intention of the Syndicate of the University to recognise the examination in question without imposing conditions. On the other hand, it would appear that without the conditions the Syndicate would not have granted recognition at all. In view of this, we are of the opinion that if the conditions imposed by the Syndicate are to be held to be ultra vires or unreasonable, the result will be, not to ignore the conditions alone and retain the recognition, but to invalidate and ignore the entire resolution of the Syndicate. Since we have taken the view that the conditions are neither ultra vires nor unreasonable, that contingency does not arise in the present case.

38. Under these circumstances, we are of the opinion that the petitioners are not entitled to the reliefs they have prayed for in these writ petitions. Accordingly these writ petitions fail and they are dismissed. There will be no order as to costs in any of these writ petitions.


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