Attendance shortfall case : HC urges DU to declare results of students

Attendance shortfall case : HC urges DU to declare results of students
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The Delhi High Court on Tuesday suggested to DUs Law Faculty to declare the results of students who were allowed to sit for their semester exams on court orders due to shortage of attendance and said those who have failed can take supplementary examinations to be conducted soon

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday suggested to DU's Law Faculty to declare the results of students who were allowed to sit for their semester exams on court orders due to shortage of attendance and said those who have failed can take supplementary examinations to be conducted soon.

A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao gave the suggestion during the hearing of Delhi University's appeal against a single judge order asking the law faculty members to conduct at least 139 hours of extra classes or tutorials for those students who are desirous of attending the lectures to make up for attendance shortage.

Senior advocate Arvind Nigam, appearing for the varsity and law faculty, said he will take instructions from his client on the suggestion given by the bench and the matter was listed for further hearing on August 24.

During the hearing, the law faculty said even if the classes were held as ordered by the court, a majority of the students would still be unable to make-up for the shortage in attendance.

It also said that those students who have more than the minimum requirement of 70 per cent attendance would fall short if the additional classes were held, since the number of classes for all students would increase.

The bench, however, did not accept the contention and said there was no need to include the students, who have already met the attendance requirement, in the new parameters connected to the additional classes.

It also said that the law faculty was required to have 30 hours of classes, according to Bar Council of India rules, and not 25 hours each week as was being practiced.

"You have given a go-bye to the Rule 10 (on 30 hours of classes each week) of BCI Rules. Can you ignore it? That is why the single judge said you were not adhering to the rules," the bench said.

The students, represented by senior advocate Kirti Uppal and advocates Himanshu Dhuper and Samarendra Kumar, argued that the law faculty was in contempt of the high court's direction to conduct the classes. They also agreed with the court's suggestion to declare their results.

The law faculty said it has not compiled the results of the students who sat for the exams on the single judge's orders. The single judge had come down heavily on DU for "illegally" detaining around 500 students for lack of attendance and ordered holding of supplementary exams, saying it was a "failure" of the law faculty.

In its appeal, the varsity has contended that the single judge in her July 6 order had ignored the fact that all the three law centres had completed the course within the total number of lectures held.

The university has contended in the appeal that the single judge had "over-stressed" the rule that 450 class hours must be conducted, irrespective of the fact that the syllabus for all the subjects for the respective semesters was already completed as planned. It has said no syllabus remained that may be taught to the detained students in these additional classes.

The single judge, while granting relief to law students, had said the shortfall of attendance was caused due to "failure of faculty of law to conduct minimum classes as prescribed under the Bar Council of India rules".

The court had passed a slew of directions and directed law faculty members to conduct, within eight weeks, at least 139 hours of extra classes/tutorials for students who are desirous to attend lectures to make up for the shortage of attendance.

The court had issued the directions while disposing 21 separate petitions filed by 53 students, challenging the memorandum issued by the law faculty on May 7 and May 8 and May 10, detaining several students of fourth and sixth semester from appearing in exams for not having an aggregate attendance of 70 per cent in the semesters, as required by the BCI Rules.

It had also said there were "glaring discrepancies" in the attendance record and it was maintained in the "most archaic fashion" by the authorities. As an interim relief, the high court had ordered that the students, who have approached the court after being detained by the DU due to lack of attendance, be allowed to sit for their ongoing examinations subject to outcome of the petitions.

The court had said the faculty must allow those students, who were detained due to shortage of attendance and could not be granted the interim relief, to take their supplementary examinations for the semester concerned.

In the pleas filed on behalf of the detained law students, it was claimed that DU Law Faculty's three centres - Campus Law Centre, Law Centre 1 and Law Centre 2 - have arbitrarily, illegally and without issuing any show-cause notice detained hundreds of them.

The single judge had quashed the detention lists issued by the law faculty regarding students who could not meet the prescribed attendance criteria due to the faculty of law's failure to hold the prescribed mandatory minimum number of class hours during the concerned semester.

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