Decided on March 25,1974

K.S. CYRIAC Appellant


- (1.) The petitioner was a pre degree student of the Newman College, Thodupuzha. He sat for the University examination held in April - May 1972 at that college. On 6-6-1972, when he was writing Mathematics Paper I, the invigilators detected the petitioner committing malpractice. They reported the matter to the Chief Superintendent, who immediately came to the scene, and took the petitioner's answer book into custody; but the petitioner ran away with the paper from which he was copying. The Chief Superintendent appointed the third respondent, who is the Professor of Chemistry in that college, to enquire into the above misconduct. The third respondent framed charges against the petitioner and issued a notice Ext. R1 dated 9-8-1972, calling upon the petitioner to submit his explanation, and show cause why he should not be punished. The. petitioner submitted an explanation Ext. R2 dated 14-8-1972 denying the charges, and requesting that he may be allowed to engage a lawyer to cross examine the witnesses. He also objected to the competency of the third respondent to conduct the enquiry on the ground of bias. The third respondent did not accept the petitioner's objection to the validity of the enquiry, nor did he allow the engagement of an advocate by the petitioner. The third respondent furnished to the petitioner copies of the relevant documents as well as the names and particulars of the witnesses proposed to be examined at the enquiry, and gave him notice fixing the enquiry on 30-8-1972. But before that date, the petitioner filed O. P. No. 3918 of 1972, and obtained from this Court an ex parte order of interim stay of the enquiry. Accordingly, the enquiry did not take place on 30-8-1972. The O. P. was dismissed by this Court on 10-11-1972. The petitioner then filed W. A. No. 338 of 1972 from the judgment in that case; and it was dismissed summarily. Then the petitioner issued a registered notice, Ext. P1 dated 3-4-1973 through his advocate to the first respondent calling upon him to drop the enquiry for the numerous grounds stated therein and to announce the examination result of the petitioner. The first respondent replied by his letter, Ext. P2 dated 11-4-1973, stating that the University rules did not permit the announcing of the result of an examination of a student charged with malpractice, until the enquiry was completed, and that the Principal of the College had been requested to expedite the enquiry. The petitioner's advocate, by his letter, Ext. P3 dated 15-4- 1973, again wrote to the first respondent objecting to the validity of the proposed enquiry and quoting a few English and Indian decisions in support of his contention.
(2.) On 16-5-1973 the third respondent issued a notice Ext. P5 to the petitioner fixing the enquiry to 22-5-1973. The petitioner sent a reply to Ext. P6 dated 20-5-1973 refusing to participate in the enquiry for the reasons which he had already stated. Thereupon the third respondent considered the materials in support of the charges against the petitioner, found him guilty of the same, and sent a report to the Chief Superintendent, who forwarded the same to the University. It appears that the first respondent considered the matter; and, in consultation with the Sub committee on Discipline he held that the examination taken by the petitioner be cancelled and that the petitioner be debarred from appearing for any examination of the University earlier than in October 1973. Accordingly, the second respondent, the Controller of Examinations issued a notice, Ext. P7 dated 30-7-1973, to the petitioner calling upon him to show cause within 15 days of the receipt thereof why the proposed punishment should not be imposed on him. This notice was received by him on 7-8-1973. The petitioner replied by his letter Ext. P8 dated 9-8-1973, stating that the petitioner should have true copies of the evidence recorded at the enquiry and the report of the enquiry officer. He also requested for a personal hearing through his advocate after furnishing him copies of the above documents. The second respondent did not pay any heed to Ext. P8; but he informed the petitioner by his letter Ext: P9 dated 20-8-1973 that it had been decided to impose on the petitioner the punishment proposed in the notice Ext. P7. Thereupon, this Original Petition has been filed on 28-9-1973 to quash Exts. P3, P7 and P9, and to command the second respondent to announce the result of the petitioner's examination.
(3.) Counsel for the petitioner urged three grounds. Firstly an enquiry by the third respondent was violative of natural justice, since he is biased in the matter. Secondly, the petitioner has a right to be represented by an advocate in the enquiry; and enquiry is bad under law, since this right was denied to him. Thirdly, the punishment imposed on him as per Ext. P9 is bad under law, since that was done without giving him a proper opportunity of being heard.;

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