Students who use unfair means in exam cannot contribute to nation-building, must be dealt with heavy hand: Delhi High Court

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The Delhi High Court recently observed that the students who use ‘unfair means’ in exams and then get away with it, cannot contribute to nation-building [Yogesh Parihar v Delhi Technical University and Ors].

A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad said that such students must be “dealt with a heavy hand” and should be taught a lesson.

“Students, who resort to unfair means and get away with it, cannot build this nation. They cannot be dealt with leniently and they should be made to learn a lesson not to adopt unfair means in their life,” the bench said.

The observations came while dismissing an appeal by an engineering student, Yogesh Parihar challenging an order of the Delhi Technical University (DTU) that had cancelled his second semester exams because he was found using ‘unfair means’ in examinations in two subjects.

Earlier, the single-judge of the High Court had refused to interfere with the DTU order.

It was informed that a mobile phone was found in possession of another student which contained a WhatsApp group called “Ans” in which the answers to the questions and the question papers were being shared amongst 22 students.

Parihar was stated to be a member of that group. The Unfair Means Scrutiny Committee of the DTU found that Parihar was in knowledge of the fact that he was a part of the WhatsApp group and rejected his alibi that his phone was being used by his roommate Vatan Tomar.

The Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the DTU, therefore, imposed category-IV punishment on Parihar and cancelled his exams. This also led to cancellation of his registration for the third-semester and he was asked to register himself again for the second semester.

After going through the arguments and documents presented, the division bench held that the reasoning of the VC does not require any interference.

It further said that the facts in the case demonstrated that the students were able to get hold of the question paper and shared the questions and answers amongst themselves, giving them unfair advantage against students who would have burnt their midnight oil to prepare for the exams.

The Court added that the University has been lenient in imposing category-IV punishment rather than rusticating the cheaters.

“This Court, while exercising its jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, and after looking into the decision making process, the facts that have been taken into account and as to whether the reasoning given by the authorities below is so arbitrary that no man of prudence would reach such a conclusion, is of the opinion that the decision of the College Authorities and the Order of the learned Single Judge do not require any interference from this Court,” the High Court said.

Advocates Sriram Parakkat, Vishnu Shankar MS and Athira G Nair appeared for the appellant.

DTU Standing Counsel Avnish Ahlawat along with Additional Standing Counsel (ASC) for GNCTD Anuj Aggarwal with advocates Nitesh Kumar Singh, Palak Rohmetra, Laavanya Kaushik, Aliza Alam, Ayushi Bansal, Sanyam Suri and Arshya Singh appeared for the respondents.

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