Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Declining to grant relief to a law graduate who had failed to obtain the cutoff marks in the LL.B course for enrollment into the Bar, a bench comprising of Rajiv Narain Raina, J. held that it would not be possible to accept the plea of the petitioner merely on the ground that her career would be ruined if she is not able to practice in a court of law.

The Court took into account Section 7 of the Legal Education Rules, 2008 which states that the minimum marks secured by a person should be 45% in order to get admitted into the rolls of a Bar. The Court also noted that a clarification resolution was issued that those who secure less than 45% marks at graduation level but secure more than 45% at postgraduate level can apply for bar license but in the case of the petitioner she has secured only 40.87% in her post-graduation level, therefore this relaxation is not available to her. The Council for the state also pointed out that in ‘identical cases’ decided beforehand, where persons did not possess minimum qualifying marks, they were denied enrolment.

The Court did not find any merit in the petitioner’s argument that the University allowed her to pursue LL.B in spite of her marks, therefore the Bar should also make an exception for her. The Court could not be persuaded to accept this, as admission to the LL.B course and admission to the Bar are not one and the same thing. The Court also took into account that the Bar Council had notified the girl’s institution to not depart from prescribed norms and therefore, the petitioner cannot be heard to succeed on the ground that she was not at fault. The Court said that the petitioner was free to make a career in teaching after her degree. [Kitti Chhabra v. Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana, 2019 SCC OnLine P&H 2189, decided on 14-10-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: The Court was deciding a writ petition by one Bhuvnesh Pachuri belonging to the category of “Dependents of Freedom Fighters” (General) who sought lowering of cut-off marks after failing to clear the written examination for the post of junior engineers in UP Jal Nigam.

Contention of the petitioner was that since the total seats advertised were 469, 2% of 469 coming to 9.38, hence 9 posts were required to be reserved for the said category, but only 5 candidates were invited for interview and all of them were selected. The petitioner apprised the Court of the fact that in the written examination, the cut off marks for qualifying for interview was fixed as 42, but the petitioner obtained only 34 marks and was thus, not called for the interview.

The respondent further stated that as per S. 3(5) of U.P. Public Services (Reservation for Physically Handicapped, Dependents of Freedom Fighters and Ex-Servicemen) Act 1997, when suitable candidates are not found the vacancies are carried over to the next recruitment. Petitioner on the other hand, contended that the cut-off marks of 42 was for the General Category and the same should have been lowered for the Reserved Category relying on various Apex Court judgments namely, Justice Sunanda Bhandare Foundation v. Union of India, (2014) 15 SCC 497 and All India Confederation of Blind v. Union of India, (2017)3 SCC 525, where relaxation of 5% in cut-off marks was provided by the University Grants Commission to the persons with visual disability for appearing in N.E.T. for Junior Research Fellowship and Lectureship.

Regarding these cases cited, the Court noted that it is not the case of petitioner that prior to his appearance in the competitive examination, there was some law/rule providing any relaxation in cut-off marks to candidates of any vertical or horizontal category and declined to grant any relief of lowering the cut off marks for his social category of reservation. [Bhuvnesh Pachauri v. State of U.P., Writ A No. 2736 of 2016, decided on 27.11.2016]