BHAVE, J. -
(1.) -By this petition under Article 226 of the Constitution the petitioner seeks a writ of mandamus directing the Vice-Chancellor and the Registrar of the Ravishankar University, Raipur, to declare the petitioner to have passed the Second Year Examination of the Degree Course in Engineering. We dismissed this petition on 13th April 1967 and in our order passed on that date we had indicated that we would give our reasons in support of the conclusion rejecting the petition later. We do so now.
(2.) THE petitioner during the material period was studying in Second Year of the Degree Course of Bachalor in Engineering of the Ravishankar University. THE petitioner appeared in the Annual Examination held in April, 1966, but failed. He again appeared in the Supplementary Examination in only one subject in which he had failed. He secured 47 marks out of 100 in that paper in the Supplementary Examination, but he was declared to have failed in the Examination as in the aggregate of all the theory papers he had secured less than 40 per cent marks. THE contention of the petitioner is that under the relevant Ordinances even though he had failed to secure an aggregate of 40 per cent marks in all the theory papers, he was entitled to be placed in Pass Division and he should have been declared to have passed the Examination.
The Ravishankar University was established on 1-5-1964. Before that date the Colleges in the Chhatisgarh Division were affiliated to the Saugor University. The Vice-Chancellor of the Ravishankar University issued Ordinance No. 4 which provided that the provisions of the Ordinances for various Examinations of the University of Saugor in force in that University on the date of establishment of the Ravishankar University shall govern the examinations of the Ravishankar University till the date on which they are replaced by the provisions of the Ordinances of the Ravishankar University. The relevant Ordinances of the Saugor University are Ordinances Nos. 1 and 2. Ordinance No. 1 is styled as Ordinance for B. E. Examinations under Faculty of Engineering and Technology. Paragraph 11 of the said Ordinance reads as under:-
"11. A candidate securing: (i) A minimum of 25 per cent marks in each theory paper with a minimum of 40 per cent marks in the aggregate of all theory papers; (ii) A minimum of 40 per cent marks in each Practical; (iii) A minimum of 60 per cent marks in each sessional (excluding the mid-sessional) and (iv) A minimum of 50 per cent marks in the total aggregate of all the theory papers, practicals and sessionals (including the mid-sessional), will be declared to have passed the examination in Second Division," Paragragh 16 then provides that a candidate who fulfils conditions (iii) and (iv) of paragraph 11 but fails in any two theory papers only, or in any two practicals only or in one theory paper and one praotical only will be placed in the compartment in (i) the above said two theory papers, (ii) the above said two practicals or (iii) in one above said theory paper and one above said practical only, as the case may be, provided that he has secured a minimum of 20 per cent marks in each of the theory papers and a minimum of 30 per cent marks in each of the practicals. Paragraph 17 provides that students clearing the papers of the compartment subjects will not be entitled to a class or division in that examination.
Ordinance No. 2 is designed to give the facility of appearing in the Supplementary Examination even to those students who have failed in one or two subjects but who are not entitled to be placed in compartment. Paragraph 2 of the Ordinance is as under:-
"C. Candidates who have failed in any one subject or group as the case may be and have not been placed in a compartment in that subject or group, may, at their option, appear only in that subject or group in the next July-August examination, and if they pass in that subject or group and further obtain in the aggregate not less than the percentage of marks required for placing the candidate in the compartment in that subject or group, they will be placed in the Pass Division: Provided that this concession will be available only once. Explanation:-For purpose of the B. K. Examinations, the expression 'Candidates who have failed in any subject or group' means candidates who have secured a minimum of 60 per cent marks in each sessional (excluding the mid-sessional) but have failed in (i) any two theory papers, or (ii) any two practicals or (iii) any one theory paper and any one practical. (Amendments issued under No. Con/14- A dated the 18th July, 1964, Paras 1, 2 and 3). Provided further that the failures of the 1963 examinations may be given the benefit of this concession in the March-April examination of 1964, or if they have not availed of that examination, then in the examination of July-August of 1964".
(3.) IN the annual examination held in April, 1966, the petitioner had secured marks as indicated below:- From the mark-sheet it is clear that the petitioner had failed in Engineering- Chemistry II and had secured only 11 per cent marks. He could not, therefore, be placed in compartment, and was declared to have failed. At this stage, it may also be noted that the petitioner had secured only 348 marks out of 1000 in the aggregate of all the theory papers.
Though Ordinances Nos. 1 and 2 were in force when the annual examination was held, subsequently the Vice-Chancellor issued Ordinance No. 25. This Ordinance provided that Supplementary Examination in the Faculty of Engineering for the following categories of B. E. candidates would be held:-
(a) Candidates who have obtained at the annual B. E. Examination the requisite minimum marks for passing the examination in sessionals, the aggregate of theory papers, and the total aggregate and have failed only one theory paper or one practical and have not been placed in the compartment. (b) Candidates who have passed the annual B. E. Examination in all the theory papers, sessionals and practieals and have failed to secure the requisite minimum marks for passing the examination in either the aggregate of the theory papers or the total aggregate. This Ordinance further provides as under:-
"2. A candidate included in para 1 (a) above may appear at the Supplementary Examination in the theory paper or practical in which he/she has failed at the annual B. E. Examination and if he / she passes in that theory papers practical by obtaining that minimum marks required to pass in that paper / practical at the annual B. E. Examination he / she will be placed in the pass division. 3. A candidate included in para 1 (b) above may appear in the theory paper in which he / she has secured the least marks at the annual B. E. Examination and if he / she passes in that paper and thereby improves the theory aggregate / total aggregate marks obtained at the annual B. E. Examination and secures the minimum marks required to pass in the theory aggregate and the total aggregate at the annual B. E. Examination he / she will be placed in the pass division. Provided that if a candidate secures, the least marks in more than one paper he/she will have the option to select the paper in which he / she desires to appear at the Supplementary Examination".
The Vice-Chancellor, therefore, took the decision that those students who had failed to secure aggregate of 40 per cent marks in the theory papers were not entitled to appear for the Supplementary Examination. It appears that certain representations were made to the Chancellor of the University and the Chancellor by his letter dated 26th September 1966 (Annexure-4) expressed his opinion that candidates who took the examinations of the Engineering Faculty in April, 1966, had in their minds the provisions governing the Examinations as they existed at that time, and, therefore, they should have naturally entertained the expectation that if for some reason beyond their control they did badly in one subject or a group, they would have the benefit of a supplementary examination under those provisions. In this view of the matter, all the students who would have appeared for the Supplementary Examination under Ordinance No. 2 of the Saugor University were directed to be permitted to take the examination. The Chancellor, however, made it clear, as would appear from Anne- xure-5 to the Return, that only those students should be declared to have passed as a result of the Supplementary Examination who have met the requirements of all the items stated in the B. E. Examination Ordinance (Ordinance No. 1), as conditions for passing the examination.;