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Conduct of Examination when the Course itself is unapproved is invalid – PKIMSE: Madras HC

When the course itself was not approved, we cannot infer an implied approval on the arguments so advanced on behalf of the appellant Institute. (Para 10)

Perunthalaivar Kamarajar institute of Maritime Science and engineering v. The Director General of Shipping, W.A.No.962 of 2020 and CMP No.11642 of 2020 -29 October, 2020

Counsel for the appellants: Learned Senior Counsel, Mr.A.Thiyagrajan.

Counsel for the respondents: Learned Assistant Solicitor General, Mr.G.Karthikeyan

The Hon’ble High Court of Madras comprising of Chief Justic A.P.Sahi and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy held in a case that when the course itself was not approved, we cannot infer an implied approval on the arguments so advanced on behalf of the appellant Institute.

The dispute in the present matter pertains to the approval of the course relating to Training for General Purpose Ratings. It is undisputed that there was an approval existing in respect of the course that was valid till 30.06.2019. The appellant admitted students for the next batch with effect from 01.07.2019. It is to be noted that there was no approval beyond 30.06.2019. The impugned writ petition was filed in March 2020 for a mandamus in order to enable the appellant Institute to cover up the aforesaid deficit, as during the meantime, the appellant Institute had also sent the list of candidates to the second respondent for conducting their examinations. The candidates sent up by the appellant in respect of the aforesaid course did appear in the examinations and 74 of them cleared the same. The results of the said examinations were also declared.

Counsel for the appellants, among other judgments, relied on The State of Orissa vs. Madan Gopal Rungta, AIR 1952 SC 12, Krishna Priya Ganguly and Others vs. University of Lucknow and Others, (1984) 1 SCC 307, K.A.Selvanachi and Anr. vs. Dr.S.R.Sekar and Anr., (2003) 1 CTC 745. The appellants contended that the first respondent will be presumed to have granted approval to the said course as the students had been allowed to appear in the examinations and their results had also been declared.

Counsel for the respondents contended that this conduct of the examinations or the course which was imparted to the students was without any approval and therefore, no relief can be granted and it was further submitted that the candidates should be permitted to undertake the said training course afresh in some recognized Institute in order to save their career.

After hearing the parties, the court observed the cases relied on by the appellant were irrelevant to the facts of the present case. The Court went on to observe the following:

It is, thus, clear that it was the appellant which had sent the application forms to the second respondent during the month of December 2019 whereafter the examinations were conducted by it and the results were published in January, 2020. (Para 9)
Mr.Thiagarajan, learned Senior Counsel, contended that this was done with the endorsement of the first respondent. This fact has been refuted by Mr.Karthikeyan, learned Assistant Solicitor General and from the records that have been placed before us, we do not find either any explicit or tacit consent of the first respondent allowing the appellant Institute either to send the application forms for getting the examinations of the candidates conducted nor is there any document on record to establish that the first respondent had directly or indirectly permitted the appellant to either run the course or get the examinations of the students held. In such view of the matter, when the course itself was not approved, we cannot infer an implied approval on the arguments so advanced on behalf of the appellant Institute. Thus, the conclusion drawn by the learned single Judge on that count does not appear to be suffering from infirmity much less a legal infirmity. The judgments relied on by the learned Senior Counsel for the appellant do not have any application on the facts of the present case. (Para 10)

Answering the contention raised by the appellants, the Court further observed the following:

The contention raised by the learned Senior Counsel for the appellant is that the approved list of colleges have been reflected in the website of the respondent, for which an additional typed set of papers has been placed before us. Even assuming that the list of colleges as displayed on 29.07.2019 and 08.08.2019 was an information available on the website of the first respondent, the same does not either expressly or impliedly mean that the first respondent had approved the course about which the dispute had arisen. It is, therefore, on record that the Institute had been finally disaffiliated on 06.01.2020 and therefore, the reflection prior to that in the website may be appropriate, but the same does not amount to condoning or approving the running of the course which was under question or the conduct of the examinations of such students pursuant to such an unapproved course. (Para 12)

Subsequently, the appeal was dismissed with no costs.

Kalidharun K M



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