Published: 25th June 2022
Karnataka High Court upholds the decision of Kuvempu University's Registrar to promote students in light of COVID
The court also said that the students have been admitted for the academic year 2019-20. They should have written the first-year examination by May/June 2020
Observing that the university is always at liberty to initiate appropriate action against the erring officer but it would be inappropriate to punish the students for the same, the Karnataka High Court quashed the notifications issued by Kuvempu University annulling the result announced by the Registrar (Evaluation) to promote students pursuing their first year BCom through distant education for the academic year 2019-20.
Considering the internal assessment marks and performance in the previous semester, the Registrar had decided to promote the students to the next semester, specifically in the view of the COVID-19 pandemic. Alleging that Registrar committed a mistake by taking a decision against the provisions of the Karnataka State Universities Act, as same is against the decision of the Syndicate, the university cancelled the result announced by the Registrar.
It also ordered to conduct the examination afresh, by issuing two separate notifications dated April 1, 2022 and April 4, 2022. Challenging this move, some of the affected students and a few centres offering the courses knocked on the doors of the high court.
Allowing the petitions, Justice MI Arun observed that, "No doubt, the Syndicate as per Section 29 of the Act, is empowered to make arrangements for the conduct of the examination prescribed by the Statutes, Ordinances or Regulations and the officers of the University, including the Registrar (Evaluation), has to act as per the decision of the Syndicate. However, given the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case, the students cannot be made to suffer due to the erroneous decision of the university or its officers".
The court also said that the students have been admitted for the academic year 2019-20. They should have written the first-year examination by May/June 2020. There has already been an inordinate delay.
Finally, a decision is taken by the Registrar on behalf of the university to assess their performance based on internal assessments and based on the same, they have been declared passed in the month of February 2022. The students have lost almost a year and have got themselves admitted to second-year degree courses.
Thereafter, in the month of April 2022, a decision is taken to cancel the said results and to conduct fresh examination. These changes would cause undue hardship to the students, the court added.