Punjab and Haryana High Court: Sudhir Mittal, J. allowed the writ petitions filed against the action of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) declaring petitioners ineligible for evaluation of class 12th and to issue the final result.
Undisputed facts are that the petitioners took their class 10th examination in March, 2019. They cleared all subjects except one which was also cleared in the ‘second compartment’ examination held in March, 2020. Matriculation Certificate was issued in July, 2020. Meanwhile, the petitioners had been admitted to class 11th during the academic session 2019-20 and cleared the same in the year 2020.
According to the petitioners’ names were registered for the class 12th examination and admit cards/roll numbers were also issued. They were also permitted to take the practical examination. However, when the result was finally declared, ‘NE’ i.e. not eligible was mentioned against the names of the petitioners in the relevant column. Their schools submitted representations dated 06.08.2021 and 20.08.2021 to the CBSE but no reply was received.
Petitioners submitted that the petitioners were duly promoted to class 12th, they were enrolled and registered for the said exam and were also allotted roll nos. and permitted to give practical exams. It was further submitted that petitioners have not concealed any information and when the alleged roll no. was allotted from the Board, non-declaration of result is arbitrary.
On the contrary, CBSE argued that admission of petitioners in class 11th was improper and in violation of the examination by-laws. It was stated that according to Clause 42 of the by-laws, one has to pass the compartment exam in the first attempt. However, petitioners have cleared in the second attempt making the petitioners ineligible to continue in class 11th hence; the continuation was illegal. It was further argued that the said notice was duly communicated to the School Principal to check the eligibility of the candidates.
A perusal of the list of students registered for class 11th was by CBSE, pointed out that the petitioners passed their class 10th examination in the year 2019 whereas they actually did so in the year 2020.
The Court observed that there is no concealment on the part of the petitioners. The CBSE was well aware of the facts even at the time of registration for class 12th, the CBSE did not raise any objection and permitted the petitioners to take the practical examination after issuance of roll numbers. It was further observed that, “the year of passing Class-X is mentioned as 2019 but the CBSE failed to take notice.”
Hence, after no fault of the petitioners whether such punitive measure was justified. Technicalities have to give way to substantial justice. The petitioners were not at fault as observed by the Court.
It was held that, “Clause 42 of the examination bye-laws clearly states that only students of Class-X who clear the compartment examination in the first chance can be permitted to continue in Class-XI. From a technical point of view, the admission to Class-XI was illegal as was the admission to Class-XII. However, this has to be balanced against the fact that the petitioners have actually passed Class-X as well as Class-XI before taking the Class-XII examination. Weighed in the balance of law and considered through the prism of equity and good conscience, the scales tilt in favour of the petitioners because substantially they fulfill the requirement of taking the Class-XII examination.”
CBSE was directed to declare the result of the petitioners duly.[Jyoti v. CBSE, 2022 SCC OnLine P&H 533, decided on 22-02-2022]
Mr. Ashish Yadav, Advocate, for the petitioners (in both petitions).
Mr. B.S. Seemar, Advocate, for respondent no.1.
Mr. Prashant Singh Chauhan, Advocate, for respondent no.2 in CWP No.24730 of 2021.
Mr. Rajneesh Chadwal, AAG, Haryana.