(1.) THE petitioner Surendra Kumar Patel applies under Articles 226 and 227 of the constitution, for the grant of a writ in the nature of Certiorari for quashing Order no. 6 passed by the Registrar, Jabalpur University, dated 15th April 1968, debarring him from all examinations of the Jabalpur University for the years 1968 and 1969, including that of Diploma in Teaching, and for a writ in the nature of mandamus directing the University authorities to permit him to appear at that examination to be held in or about March 1969.
(2.) THE relevant facts are these. The petitioner, who is a teacher in the Primary school at Mouza Khudawal in Tahsil Sihora, was admitted on 2nd August 1966 into the Prantiya Shikshan Mahavidyalaya, Jabalpur as a trainee candidate for the diploma in Teaching course. While he was pursuing that course of studies, he applied to the University for permission to appear 'as a teacher candidate' at the final examination for the degree of Bachelor of Arts (T. D. C.), which was to be held in March 1967, but his application was not granted, and he, accordingly, filed miscellaneous Petition No. 130 of 1967, Surendra Kumar Patel v. University of jabalpur against the University of Jabalpur, for an appropriate writ, direction or order under Article 226 of the Constitution. During the pendency of those proceedings, an ad interim writ was issued by this Court, directing the University authorities to admit the petitioner to the Bachelor of Arts (T. D. C.) Examination held in March 1967, subject to the condition that his result would not be declared until the disposal of the petition. In that petition this Court held on 11-9-1967 that the University authorities were justified in rejecting the application of the petitioner for permission to appear at the Final examination for the degree of bachelor of Arts held in March 1967, on the ground that on his admission to the prantiya Shikshan Mahavidyalaya as a student, he ceased to be a teacher and was, therefore, not eligible to appear in that examination 'as a teacher in a recognised institution'. Eventually, with the disposal of that petition, the result of the petitioner was withheld and his examination was cancelled by the University authorities. Nevertheless, the petitioner continued his studies in the Prantiya shikshan Mahavidyalaya, and duly filled in his application form for admission as a regular student at the Diploma in Teaching Examination which was to be held from 15th April 1968, but when he approached the authorities on the day prior, he was informed that his Admission Card would not be issued because he had been debarred by the University from appearing at any of its examinations for a period of three years, on a charge of having used unfair means at the Final examination for the degree of Bachelor of Arts (T. D. C.) held in March 1967. The petitioner immediately presented an application in writing to the Registrar of the University, making a request to grant him a provisional Admission Card but the authorities abstained from taking a decision, and the petitioner filed Miscellaneous Petition no. 154 of 1968, Surendra Kumar Patel v. The University of Jabalpur for an appropriate direction under Article 226 of the Constitution. During the pendency of that petition, the petitioner was, however, served with the impugned Order No. 6 dated 15th April 1968, and as a result he withdrew that petition with leave to file a fresh petition for challenging the validity of that order.
(3.) THE University and its Registrar have in their return asserted that the petitioner was caught red-handed while copying during the Final Bachelor of Arts (T. D. C.)Examination, 1967, in General English, Paper II, held on 23rd March 1967. The report of the Invigilator who caught him using unfair means was that:
"two leaves torn out of a printed book were found on the desk of the examinee concealed under his answer book. He was using the leaves for writing his answers. The examinee refused to take second answer book. He also refused to give any statement and went out of the Examination hall. " That document was attested lay 2 other Invigilators who had witnessed the incident. The Officer-in-charge of the University Examinations Centre, Mahakoshal arts Mahavidyalaya from where the petitioner was appearing, duly certified that the Invigilator's Report was correct The University authorities have further alleged in their return that on 28th March 1967 the Officer-in-charge sent the answer book in question along with 2 printed leaves found concealed thereunder, to Prof. B. N. Deb of the Allahabad University, the examiner of General English, Paper II, for valuation and that Prot Deb made the following report: "badly copied and not intelligibly enough either. " the University Authorities have stated that their action in debarring the petitioner was neither mala fide nor arbitrary or capricious as alleged, but was a decision honestly reached in the circumstances of the case. Apart from this, the allegation that he was not given an opportunity to explain his conduct has been duly controverted. It is specifically averred that the Invigilator had asked the petitioner to furnish his explanation, if any, on the spot after he was caught red-handed while copying, but he refused to make any statement and, instead, walked out of the Examination hall. All these allegations must be accepted as true in the absence of any counter-affidavit on the part of the petitioner controverting them. In other words, the University authorities assert that there was no violation of any rules of natural justice. As regards the powers of the Executive Council to debar the petitioner from taking any or all University Examinations for a particular period, it has been asserted that it had all the powers.;