NLSIU withdraws appeal before Karnataka High Court challenging single-judge orders allowing student to appear for exam

The student had plagiarised project work submitted for three subjects after which he was awarded lesser marks and detained in third year of his course.

The National Law School of India University (NLSIU) on Tuesday withdrew an appeal moved by it before a Division Bench of the Karnataka High Court challenging two orders passed by a single judge allowing a student to appear for academic year-end exams [National Law School of India University v. Yusuf Tariq and Anr.]

A Division Bench of Justices Satish Chandra Sharma and Sachin Shankar Magadum was informed by the counsel appearing for NLSIU, Advocate Aditya Narayanan that the matter has been internally resolved between the respondent and the appellant university by way of mediation.

The Court, therefore, allowed NLSIU to withdraw its plea.

The appeal was moved by NLSIU challenging two orders of the single- judge.

The appeal filed in this regard stated that the respondent-student was admitted to the five-year BA LLB. (Hons.) programme in 2017-18 and was promoted to the third year in academic year 2019-20 with ‘F’ grade in Economics II.

During the first trimester of academic year 2019-20, the projects submitted by the respondent in three courses, Civil Procedure Code, Criminal Law and Commercial Contracts were found to be extensively plagiarised.

As a result, he was awarded zero marks for the project and viva components for those courses, the plea said.

The respondent thereafter, also failed to secure requisite marks to pass the said courses in the end term and repeat examinations and thus, was awarded ‘F’ grade in these courses.

Subsequently, the NLSIU implemented Academic and Education Regulations 2020 (AER 2020) which contained a transitory provision to ensure no prejudice is caused to the students by application of AER 2020.

Under AER 2020, a revised grading scheme was introduced by which a student could pass a course if he/ she secured a minimum of 40 marks (‘C’ grade) instead of a minimum of 50 marks that was required to pass under the previous regulations.

By applying this revised grading scale, the F grade that the respondent student had in Commercial Contracts was revised to C grade.

At the end of the academic year 2019-20, the respondent was detained in his third year in view of the gross misconduct committed by him by extensively plagiarizing three projects he submitted in a single trimester.

Challenging the said decision, he had moved the High Court and and the single-judge, by way of an interim order in 2021 directed NLSIU to admit the respondent to fourth year subject to the result of the petition.

Later, it had come to the attention of NLSIU that the respondent effectively had ‘F’ grades in four courses in the beginning of the academic year 2020-20 and had failed to meet the eligibility criteria for promotion under AER 2020.

Without hearing NLSIU, the Court proceeded to pass an order on May 12, 2021 permitting respondent to inter alia take the examination in the course held in May 2021.

Adhering to the Court order, the same was done.

When the matter was taken up on June 3, 2021, the Court simply adjourned the matter, after hearing the respondent at length.

NLSIU then moved the Division Bench challenging the said orders dated May 12 and June 3. The appellants contended that both the orders were passed without application of mind and are liable to be set aside.

Later, the issued was settled amicably prompting the university to withdraw the appeal.

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