Sunday, April 2, 2023

Allahabad High Court allows jailed Law student to continue studies

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The Allahabad High Court while dealing with a plea filed by a rusticated law student who was not allowed to complete his B.A, LL.B course by the University Administration said that under the Indian legal system, a convicted person is also has the right to pursue his study and appear in examination from jail to re-enter the mainstream.

A single-judge bench of Justice Neeraj Tiwari heard the petition filed by Adil Khan. Earlier case was heard on 23.05.2022 and Court had passed the following order:-

“In compliance of my last order dated 06.05.2022, petitioner has filed supplementary affidavit in the matter in which vide paragraph 9 it has been averred thus:

 “That the petitioner reiterates his unconditional and unqualified undertaking, not only to abide by the Rules and to maintain peace and harmony and absolute discipline in the campus of the University and in & outside, but also undertakes to be a model student and would not give any cause for any complaint or adverse action against the petitioner on account of his conduct.

In my view in any educational institution, paramount importance is not only discipline and peace to be maintained on campus of the university but the career of the students should also be taken care of and be safeguarded.

Colleges and Universities are higher centres of education also taken as nursery of future politicians through students’ union. The endeavour of the administration in such institutions should be to correct students when they are wrong and ensure that no student loses mainstream for few aberrations while pursuing courses. The approach of administration of such institutions should be career centric from students’ point of view.

In the case, since undertaking has been advanced before the Court, the Court wants that future of this student who had no previous criminal history except cases in relation to which he has come to be expelled from the University, should be taken care of and besides what has been averred in paragraph 9 of the application certain more condition can be placed by this Court in the larger interest of students of the University and discipline on the campus.

The University in reply to the affidavit of undertaking, though styled as supplementary affidavit, has reiterated its previous stand in view of action taken by the Vice Chancellor upon recommendation of the disciplinary committee and it has been reiterated that ‘past conduct’ of the student, namely the petitioner has been such that no lenient view can be taken in the matter by the University.

The Court found that the words and expression ‘past conduct’ could only be in reference to two criminal cases, which are interrelated and in which the petitioner has been implicated. However, before this court passes any further order, let University disclose on affidavit as to what is the past conduct besides two cases in which petitioner is involved, so as to deny the chance to the petitioner to improve himself and pursue academic course.

Put up this matter on 06th July, 2022.”

The Court noted,

In pursuant to the order dated 23.05.2022, respondent-University has filed an affidavit, in which it is fairly stated that except two cases which are in question, there is no past criminal history of the petitioner.

The facts of the case is that petitioner is a student of B.A. LL.B five-years course and he has appeared in 7th Semester Examination, but the result of the said semester has not been declared. In the meantime, petitioner was rusticated by the University vide order dated 04.09.2019, out of which, three years have been passed. Further, petitioner has also given an affidavit for maintaining discipline and good conduct, which was recorded by this Court vide its order dated 23.05.2022.

The Court said it is undisputed that in the Indian legal system, a convicted person has the right to pursue his study and appear in examination from Jail to enter into the stream of social life. Punishment given to any person should have been reformative and not prejudicial. Denying the petitioner to complete his B.A.LL.B course may ruin his career. Certainly, the petitioner is a young student and he must have been given a chance to correct himself and choose the right path of life, if deviation and denial would frustrate the aim of reformative punishment.

“In the case, admittedly, petitioner is not a convicted person and has right to complete his studies, therefore, respondent-University is directed to inform the Court on the next date fixed about the modalities as to how petitioner would complete his BA LLB course to save his educational career without disturbing the discipline of the University,” the order reads.

The Court has fixed the next hearing of the petition on August 17, 2022.

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