Madras High Court Directs Pondicherry University To Award Grace Marks To MBBS Students

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Madras High Court Directs Pondicherry University To Award Grace Marks To MBBS Students

Madras HC Directs Pondicherry University To Award Grace Marks To Studnets


New Delhi:  The Madras High Court has rejected a Pondicherry University rule which had done away with the provision of grace marks. The court has asked the university to grant grace marks to nine MBBS students who failed in a sole practical examination. A division bench comprising of justices Huluvadi G Ramesh and S Vimala have annulled the new rule which discontinued the practice of awarding grace marks. The rule was brought into force in May last year. The division bench called the decision "arbitrary and discriminatory".

The bench gave the ruling in response to a plea by students made against the verdict of a single judge bench given on February 15, which had ruled against their plea for grace marks.

As reported by PTI, the division bench said the University's decision to "deviate from its earlier practice of granting grace marks up to five is in our view without any basis or reasonableness and therefore discriminatory and arbitrary in nature."

The court has asked the controller of examinations for Pondicherry University to revise the examination results of the nine students after awarding grace marks.

The Single-judge bench had rejected the plea of the students and had upheld the decision of the university to discontinue the practice of awarding grace marks.

In response to the ruling by single-judge bench, the students appealed to the division bench and submitted appeal that they joined the MBBS course in 2012 and appeared for exam in four subjects in December 2016. They cleared all the papers except a practical exam by a margin of two to eight marks. They appealed that when they had joined the course, the university had the provision of grace marks.

The students pleaded that even the MCI Regulations, amended up to October 8, 2016, allowed for award of grace marks up to five to a student who failed in one subject but passed in all others.

The University, though, amended the rules on June 29, 2016 and discontinued the practice of revaluation or grace marks to theory and practical examinations from May 2016.

Hearing the student's plea the division bench said that the award of grace marks was part of the course and various aspects which led to the completion of the degree which were in practice at the time of admission of the affected students in 2012. The bench ruled that the rule should remain the same till the students completed the course in accordance with those very same rules.

The bench said, "The law does not permit alteration of the same when the candidate is half way through."

The court said that the university should exercise its vested discretion while keeping in mind the interest of the student who performed well in all the subjects, but unfortunately in one subject alone was unable to get the pass marks. 

(With Inputs from PTI)

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