In absence of any Ordinance or Regulations of a university, if a student is unable to appear for a paper due to medical reasons, he or should will be deemed to have not attempted the said examination as “attempt” is an effort or an endevour which turns out to be futile. This was held by the Hon’ble High Court at New Delhi in the matter of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University v. Abhinav Pandey & Ors., LPA No. 248 of 2018, on 16th October, 2018.
The High Court had allowed the writ petition of Respondent No. 1/Petitioner vide order dated 23.01.2018 wherein the Appellant was directed to award a Gold Medal to the Respondent No. 1 for his remarkable academic performance in the five-year course of BA LLB (Hons.) during the academic session for 2010 to 2015. Petitioner could not appear for examination of two subjects in his Sixth Semester held on 29.05.2013 and 31.05.2013 as he was suffering from Chicken pox. However, he was permitted to attempt the two said examinations after a year in May/June, 2014, i.e. Eighth Semester. Petitioner had completed the course in the prescribed timeline and obtained the highest Cumulative Performance Index or CPI of 80.56% in the Appellant/University. In the order dated 23.01.2018, the Appellant University was directed to award a Gold Medal to the Respondent No. 1, as his CPI was more than that of Respondent No. 2, Ms. Prachi Gupta, who had obtained 79.14%. The present appeal was preferred by the University on the ground that the Respondent No. 1 had not appeared in the first attempt of the examination of two subjects and therefore did not fulfil the condition for award of a Gold Medal.
The Appellate Court first took notice of the admitted fact that the Respondent No. 1 had the highest CPI for the said academic year and that his absence in the two papers of Sixth Semester was due to Chicken Pox, a highly contagious disease. The main contention before the Appellate Court was to decide whether Respondent No. 1 had appeared for the first time in the aforesaid two subject’s examination in the year 2014 or in 2013.
It was observed that first attempt, unless specifically defined in the Regulation/Ordinance or the University, includes a situation where a candidate could have appeared but did not appear in an examination due to medical reasons. Therefore, where a student does not appear in an examination on the first available opportunity due to medical reasons, this cannot be used to his/her detriment and penalization in any manner. Therefore, it was decided by the Hon’ble Court that the Respondent No. 1 ought not be penalized or deprived of the fruits of his labor and well-deserved merit.