Bombay HC grants relief to five final-year law students appearing for All India Bar Exam

Bombay HC grants relief to five final-year law students appearing for All India Bar Exam

As relief to five final year law students and All India Bar Examination (AIBE) aspirants, the Bombay High Court last week directed the Controller of Examinations of the University of Mumbai to release their marksheets and passing certificates after determining the correctness of their records.

The Court passed an order on September 11 asking the authorities to decide the case positively by September 13. AIBE XIV was held on Sunday, September 15.

A Division Bench of Justices SC Dharmadhikari and Gautam Patel directed the University to take a prima facie and tentative view of the case at hand, so that the petitioner students could take the AIBE.

The five students – Siddharth Ingle, Prajakta Shetye, Onkar Gawande, Shweta Desai and Amit Mishra – of St. Wilfred’s College of Law, Panvel moved a writ plea before the Bombay High Court seeking the release of their results, claiming that the University had not completed the formalities to issue the same.

The students, who were admitted to the law course in the year 2016-17, claimed to have passed the third year LL.B. course in the academic year 2018-19.

The petitioners produced previous hall tickets and marksheets in support of their plea.

Seeking urgent relief for the petitioners, advocates Gauraj Shah and Gaurav Ingle submitted that the documents are required to be released, as the Bar Council of India, which conducts the Bar Exam, insists on production of the same. Only then would the petitioners be permitted to appear for examination.

The petitioners argued that they are aware of the fact that a direction cannot be issued unless there is a permanent registration number given to them after the documents are issued. Therefore, the marksheets and passing certificates must be generated on an urgent basis, it was submitted.

Senior Counsel Mihir Desai appeared for the University of Mumbai, the Controller of Examinations, the Admission Regulatory Authority, the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa, and the respondent college.

Desai conceded that these students were enrolled by the respondent college.

He submitted that the University had not been able to decide the case because the Admission Regulatory Authority had not verified and scrutinised the documents.

In view of these submissions, the Court observed,

“We do not think that in this short span of the time, the entire process before the Admission Authority can be directed to be completed.”

It went on to hold,

“All that can be done is, without prejudice to the rights and contentions of these contesting respondents, we can direct the University as also the Controller of Examinations to verify the correctness and genuineness of the documents listed in this petition.”

The Court also directed the University, based on its records, to conclude whether the admissions were granted, and whether the examinations were taken and cleared by the petitioners. It further noted,

“This order is without prejudice to the rights and contentions of both sides and should any action be required to be taken against the respondent college, that can still be taken irrespective of prima facie directions.”

The matter has been posted for further hearing on September 19.

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