Decided on April 05,1968

KURIEN Appellant
RAGHAVAN Respondents


- (1.) This is the third round of the writ proceedings in respect of certain actions taken against the petitioner, a student of the Government Victoria College, Palghat, by its Principal and the Members of the College Council. The first of these series was O. P. No. 1683 of 1966 filed by the petitioner to quash the order of detention passed on him by the 1st respondent on the ground that the petitioner had resorted to malpractice during the annual examination held for the First Year B. Sc. Course in April 1966. The writ petition was dismissed in the first instance by a learned Judge of this Court. Writ Appeal No. 151 of 1966 against the said decision was allowed on the ground of violation of the principles of natural justice (vide 1967 KLT 97 ). In allowing the appeal and quashing the order of detention it was made clear that fresh steps against the petitioner in accordance with law were not barred, and that in the mean time lest the petitioner should lose the benefit of one year, it was imperative that he be permitted to attend the 2nd year Degree Course and continue his studies. It was also made clear that such attendance will not confer any right on the petitioner in case it is found that he is guilty and liable to the punishment.
(2.) The second round of proceedings opened with a fresh charge issued by the Principal against the petitioner, that he had not secured the requisite marks for promotion to the Second Year B. Sc. from the First Year Course and was liable to be detained on that account. This was followed by a fresh order of detention with a concession to sit for another examination on a date fixed. As the petitioner did not sit for the examination he was ordered to be expelled. This order of expulsion was challenged by the petitioner in O. P. No. 4514 of 1966. Before my learned brother Govindan Nair J. who heard the writ petition, the Principal agreed to withdraw the proceedings which resulted in the detention of the petitioner and his subsequent expulsion. It was therefore directed that these proceedings will be ignored. The question as to whether proceedings should be commenced against the petitioner in respect of the charge of malpractice which was the subject matter of Writ Appeal No. 151 of 1966, (and which by now had crystallised into insertion of previously prepared answer papers in the Inorganic Chemistry answer book) was debated in the judgment thus: ["As to whether the proceedings commenced by the issue of the charge sheet Ext. P2 must be pursued is a matter for the respondent to decide. If he decides to conduct an enquiry the enquiry will be conducted by Shri P. Gopalan Nair, Professor of Malayalam as agreed to by either side. It is also agreed that h; is a person who had nothing to do with this matter and is in no way incompetent to conduct the enquiry. If such an enquiry is to be held, it will be held on the 25th January 1967, commencing at 10 A. M. in the office of Shri P. Gopalan Nair. The information regarding any material which would be relied on and copies of records, if any, will be given to the petitioner on or before the 20ih of this month. A list of the witnesses to be examined will also be furnished. Such of the documents, copies of which cannot be furnished must be made available for inspection at the office of the enquiry officer Shri P. Gopalan Nair, on Monday the 23rd between hours that will be notified by Shri P. Gopalan Nair. The inspection to take place in the presence of Shri P. Gopalan Nair. After the enquiry a report will be drawn up by Shri P. Gopalan Nair entering his findings on the charge and this will be sent to the Principal on or before the 26th January. The College Council will consider this report and pass appropriate orders on or before the 28th of this month. If the petitioner is found not guilty, he will be allowed to continue his studies from the 30th January in the Second Year B. Sc. In that event necessary exemption condoning lack of attendance, if any, arising out of absence of the petitioner from the class because of his original detention and the present expulsion will be granted to him." Ext. P1 is a copy of the judgment in O. P. No. 4514 of 1966. Sri. Gopalan Nair detailed for enquiry by the above order, was not however available to conduct the enquiry. By Ext. P2 order fresh directions were accordingly issued as follows: "It is agreed now by the parties to the original petition that the enquiry may be conducted by Smt. Anna Vareed, Professor of Zoology. She will therefore conduct the enquiry in her office commencing at 10 A.M. on the 21st February 1967. The information regarding any material which would be relied on and the copies of records, if any, will be given to the petitioner on or before the 17th February. A list of the witnesses to be examined will also be furnished before the date. Such of the documents, copies of which cannot be furnished, must be made available for inspection by the petitioner at the office of the Enquiry Officer on Saturday the 18th February 1967. The Inspection will take place in the presence of the officer directed to conduct the enquiry. After the enquiry, the report of the officer together with the findings will be placed before the College Council and the College Council will consider the report and findings and pass appropriate orders." After the enquiry and report contemplated above, the petitioner was served with Ext. P3 memo by the Principal stating that the College Council had considered the report and findings of Smt. Anna Vareed and had recommended to the Principal that the petitioner be punished with detention in the First Year B. Sc. at the end of the academic year 1965-66, that in view of the special circumstances of the case, he be deemed to have been readmitted to the First Year Class during 1966-67, provided he applies in writing to the Principal for reenrolment in the First Year before 24th April 67, and that his promotion from First B. Sc. class to second B. Sc. at the end of 1965-67 shall be based on his performance in an examination in optional subjects only, to be conducted in the reopening week in June 1967. These recommendations of the College Council were accepted by the Principal and an order in terms of the recommendations was passed. Ext. P3 memo dated 28-3-1966 is a copy of the said order. This third round of the writ proceedings is to quash, this order.
(3.) After admission of this writ petition on 7-4-1967, by interim order in C. M. P. No. 2776 of 1967 of the same date, my learned brother Isaac, J. ordered as follows: "Notice. The petitioner will be provisionally allowed to sit for the ensuing University Examination. The 1st respondent, the Principal of the College is directed to take all necessary action in this respect as if the order Ext. P3 dated 28-3-1967 were not issued. To this extent, the operation of Ext. P3 is suspended." Again on 31-5-1967, my learned brother ordered as follows: "Heard the petitioner's counsel again. The counter petitioner, the Principal of the College is directed to permit the petitioner to attend the 3rd Year Class until further orders from this Court." The above interim orders have continued to operate till date. The result is that the punishment meted out to the petitioner by Ext. P3 memo, remained suspended, and if this writ petition were to fail, it would be impossible to give effect to what I may call the ameliorative portions of Ext. P3 memo, as the time for applying for reenrolment in the 1st Year and for taking an examination in optional subjects, for promotion from the Second Year, as envisaged therein has run out. It is to be noted that pending proceedings started against him in respect of malpractice at the annual examinations for the first Year B. Sc. Class in April 1966, the petitioner has sailed into the Second Year Class, and again into the Third Year Class and has been allowed to write the University examinations to be held at the end of the Third Year.;

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