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Mrs. Meena Y. Tarkas Vs. University of Madras - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported inAIR1958Mad494; (1958)1MLJ214
AppellantMrs. Meena Y. Tarkas
RespondentUniversity of Madras
Excerpt:
.....the advisability of reconsidering the previous orders of refusal in case the petitione has done well in her september examination and is therefore found fit and suitable-for exemption. but just as it has got power to recommend to the government, the commutation of a sentence which it has no power to reduce it must be deemed to have the power, and indeed the duty, to recommend in suitable cases like this, to the university to reconsider its orders, if it deems fit to do so, if there is power to exempt individuals if the actual performance of the petitioner in the examination warrants it......shell by phoning to her that, as per the instructions received from the deputy registrar of the madras university, she could not be permitted to sit for the b. t. examination commencing from 2nd april, 1957 as the qualifying examination passed by her, namely the g. a. degree examination s.n.d. t. women's university, was not recognised by the madras university for the purpose of taking the b.t. degree. she was directed to return the hall ticket. in spite of her frantic efforts to get the authorities to reconsider that decision, and to allow her to sit for the examination, and in spite of her producing a very good certificate from the principal of her college regarding her experience as a teacher, bright and pleasant manner, great industry, phenomenal love of children, and fund of.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Panchapakesa Ayyar, J.

1. This petition raises an interesting question. The facts are briefly these. The petitioner Mrs. Meena Y. Tarkas, is a graduate of the S. N.D.T. Women's University, Bombay. She took the G. A. Degree in that University in 1946-47. She came to Madras in 1947 and was appointed as the Head-mistress of the Gujarati Vidhya Mandir in 1952. Her employers wanted her to get B.T. degree so that she might be confirmed as Head-mistress. She applied for admission to the St. Christopher Training College, Vepery, Madras, in 1956 to the B. T. class. Under the rules of the University of Madras, and of the above college, which was affiliated to it, she had to submit the original diploma relating to the degree taken by her, the migration certificate from the Registrar of the University which conferred the degree, and the duration certificate from the Principal of the College where she underwent the degree course, on the first day of the admission to the College to enable the Principal to send the same to the University for confirmation. She submitted the above documents, and the Principal of the St. Christopher College then wanted her to produce proof that the degree obtained by her was recognisable by the University of Madras. At the instance of the Principal she obtained a letter from the Inter University Board to the effect that the degree of the S.N.D.T. Women's University, Bombay were eligible to be recognised by all the other Universities in India. She was then admitted to the B. T. Course. She was also allowed to take part in the practical examination of the B.T. in February, 1957. Subsequently a hall ticket with Register No. 1370 was issued to her entitling her to sit for the written examination of the B.T. beginning from 2nd April, 1957. When she was preparing to sit for the examination as per the hall ticket, suddenly on 29th March, 1957, the Principal of her College dropped a bomb shell by phoning to her that, as per the instructions received from the Deputy Registrar of the Madras University, she could not be permitted to sit for the B. T. examination commencing from 2nd April, 1957 as the qualifying examination passed by her, namely the G. A. Degree examination S.N.D. T. Women's University, was not recognised by the Madras University for the purpose of taking the B.T. degree. She was directed to return the hall ticket. In spite of her frantic efforts to get the authorities to reconsider that decision, and to allow her to sit for the examination, and in spite of her producing a very good certificate from the Principal of her College regarding her experience as a teacher, bright and pleasant manner, great industry, phenomenal love of children, and fund of original ideas, the University authorities would not relent. She could not sit for the B.T. examination in April, 1957. She wanted permission at least to sit for the September examination. She also applied for individual exemption, waiving the rigour of the rules. The Vice Chancellor regretted his inability to grant her individual exemption to sit for the B.T. examination on 19th April, 1957, and refused to reconsider the order. She then filed this writ petition.

2. Along with it she filed C.M.P. No. 4306 of 1957. Rajagopalan, J., as he then was, permitted the petitioner to apply to the University to sit for the B. T. examination in September. In C.M.P. No. 6189 of 1957, Rajagopala Ayyangar, J., directed the issue of a hall ticket to her by the University for sitting for the 1957, September examination, and directed her results to be withheld till the final orders in this writ petition, leaving all the contentions of the parties intact. She has accordingly sat for the examination in September, 1957, but the results have not come out, let alone her particular result directed to be withheld till the disposal of this petition.

3. I have perused the records, and heard the learned Counsel for the petitioner and Mr. Chengalvaroyan, the learned Counsel for the respondent, the University of Madras-. Mr. Sivaswami for the petitioner, urged five grounds. The first was that the University was estopped from refusing her permission to sit for the B. T. degree in view of her completing her course and in view of her being given a hall ticket for sitting for the examination in April, 1957 causing immense injury to her by wasting her time, money, and energy. I cannot agree. There cannot be any legal or equitable estoppel in such cases. A mere moral estoppel, as in this case can only be a ground for a recommendation ad misericardium.

4. The second was that the degrees of S.N.D.T. Women's University, having been recognised by the Inter University Board, should have been recognised by the Madras University for the purpose of the B. T. examination. I cannot agree. The Madras University is an autonomous body, and the discretion given to it to recognise degrees of certain Universities and to refuse recognition of degrees of certain other Universities cannot be interfered with by Courts. I need not therefore consider Mr. Chengalvaroyan's contention that the G.A. course in the S.N.D.T. Women's University is simpler and less onerous, than the Madras University's and that the recognition of the S.N.D.T. Women's University degrees by the Inter-University Board is not as complete as contended by Mr. Sivaswami.

5. The third contention was that the Madras University has recognised even the degrees of Hong-Kong-University, and that the degrees of the S.N.D.T. Women's University cannot be considered to be inferior to the degrees of the Hong-Kong University, and that this kind of discrimination should not be tolerated. I am afraid Article 14 of the Constitution of India will have no application to such questions of preference between the Hong-Kong University and S.N.D.T. Women's University for such purposes. This Court cannot interfere in the matter of such discretion given bylaw.

6. The fourth contention of Mr. Sivaswami was that the Vice Chancellor of the Madras University had no power to refuse individual exemption for sitting for the B.T. examination and that the Syndicate alone should have passed orders on her petition. I cannot agree, though I consider prima facie that the Syndicate can, if they like, reconsi er the orders in such matters passed by the Vice Chancellor, as conceded by Mr. Chengalvaroyan.

7. The last contention of Mr. Sivaswami was that this Court should recommend to the University to consider the desirability of exempting the petitioner as an individual from this condition for sitting for the B.T. examination ad misericaridium. Mr. Sivaswami urged that there was power vested in the Syndicate to exempt individuals from some of the conditions required for sitting for the B.T. examination just as persons who have no legal degrees can be enrolled as advocates, if they are otherwise found suitable and desirable by the Bar Council and Court, as in the case of Mr. R.M. Seshadri an advocate of this Court, and just as people without any degrees or even Collegiate education can be made Doctors of Law or Doctors of Letters or Philosophy by the University, if it seems fit in view of their eminence, public service or other qualifications. I am disposed to agree prima facie that the Syndicate has got such a power of exempting individuals inasmuch as such residuary power is reserved with almost all public bodies and the Vice Chancellor's own order refusing the petitioner's application for individual exemption does not say that it was refused because there was no power to do so. Mr. Chen alvaroyan was unable to convince me that the Syndicate has no such power. Mr. Sivaswami urged that the University authorities the Syndicate and the Vice Chancellor may be requested to consider the advisability of reconsidering the previous orders of refusal in case the petitione has done well in her September examination and is therefore found fit and suitable-for exemption. This is a reasonable request, since the petitioner has not only undergone the full course but has also sat for the examination and is awaiting the results. Of course this Court has neither the power nor the intention to interfere with the discretion of the University in such matters. But just as it has got power to recommend to the Government, the commutation of a sentence which it has no power to reduce it must be deemed to have the power, and indeed the duty, to recommend in suitable cases like this, to the University to reconsider its orders, if it deems fit to do so, if there is power to exempt individuals if the actual performance of the petitioner in the examination warrants it. With that recommendation ad misericardium this petition is dismissed. In the circumstances, there will be no order as to costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 100.


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