Colleges shouldn’t be hurdle for students: Karnataka High Court

Bengaluru: Educational institutions are meant to serve the cause of education and students and not create hurdles in the educational progress of students, the Karnataka High Court observed in an order on a petition filed by a postgraduate student who had sought directions to grant him reasonable time to submit his dissertation and to declare his results.

The court said that the typical bureaucratic attitude of the college and university deserves to be strongly deprecated. 

A student of Mass Communication in Garden City College affiliated to Bangalore University, Prashant Singh, approached the High Court in October 2017, seeking reasonable time to submit his dissertation for the master's degree, and to accept/approve the dissertation, and to declare the results of the sixth semester after accepting the dissertation in accordance with law.

"The submission of the dissertation by the students is of course a part of the curriculum and is required to be submitted in time. But there is no hard and fast deadline or rules prescribed for the said purpose and even if one such deadline was there, the college and the university were expected to relax the condition to meet the ends of justice in the peculiar facts and circumstances," the court said. Though he attended all four semesters, the student could not submit the dissertation for the respective course within due date as he was suffering from a severe medical condition, which he had brought to the notice of the university.  He had cleared all written tests, but the only hurdle for issuing his final result was the non-submission of dissertation and subsequent viva-voce test.

The medical certificate shows that he was under treatment for acute PIVD at L4/L5 or L5/S1 with neurological involvement since July 2014. Initially, the student was advised absolute bed-rest with traction for three months, but the patient did not respond well and was having pain and neurological problems after removal of traction. The medical certificate also states that the patient was still under treatment and condition of the patient was improving for two months from the date of issue of the said certificate on June 24, 2017.

"After perusal of the material placed on record and statement of objections filed by the university, this court is of the opinion that the student deserves to be granted relief as prayed for and the dissertation to be filed by him could be allowed to be submitted even belatedly in the peculiar facts and circumstances that the petitioner was prevented by sufficient cause namely his adverse medical condition as certified by the doctor which is not disputed factually by the college and the university," the court ordered

It further said that the regulations produced before the court do not provide for any consequence of late submission of dissertation. 

"In usual circumstances, though it was expected to be filed in the fourth semester, the fact remains that even without that submission the student was allowed to take the written examination of fourth semester. 

The university and college are therefore stopped from raising a plea against the student that such belated submission of dissertation could not have been made," it said. 

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