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Ramesh Chandra v Principal, Bipin Behari Intermediate College, Jhansi

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Can a student be expelled from the institution on the ground of indiscipline in the wake of Article 29? The Supreme Court answered to this question in affirmative as can be seen in its judgement in Ramesh Chandra v Principal, Bipin Behari Intermediate College, Jhansi, AIR 1953 All 90.

An application under Article 226 of the Constitution. The applicant Ramesh Chandra Chaube was admitted as a student of the 1st year Intermediate Class in the Bipin Behari Intermediate College, Jhansi, in July 1951. It is alleged that a week after his admission the Principal struck off his name from the class register and told him verbally that ho could not be permitted to study in the college as he was a Communist. Later on the students of the college threatened to go on strike and at that time the applicant gave an undertaking in writing to the Principal that he would not take part in any subversive activity whether inside or outside the college. Upon this the petitioner was re-admitted into the class and he recontinued his studies in the 1st year Class. He could not take the six-monthly examination on account of his illness; but in the annual examination, it is said, he got pass marks in all the subjects. He was required to appear in a supplementary examination to be held on 10-7-1952. On 2-7-1952, the petitioner's father was informed by the Principal that he could not be re-admitted in the college during the session 1952-53. No reasons for the order were stated in the letter of the Principal. It is contended that all efforts to find out from the Principal the reasons for the action he had taken were in vain. The Inspector of Schools was then approached. He looked into the matter and sent the following answer to the petitioner's father: "I have made inquiries in that connection and have no reason to interfere with the Principal's decision. He has a right to ask you to withdraw your ward from his institution without communicating reasons which prompted him to come to that decision."

The contention is that it is against all principles of natural justice that the Principal should have refused to allow the petitioner to continue his studies in the 2nd year Intermediate Class without assigning any reason for the action which he has taken against him. This application under Article 226 of the Constitution has, therefore, been made with a prayer that a writ in the nature of mandamus or any other suitable direction, order or writ be issued to the Principal of the College to re-admit the petitioner.

The question is whether, it was necessary for the Principal to have held an inquiry and to have communicated to the petitioner the reasons for the action which he has taken against him. Reading between the lines it seems to us that the Principal came to the conclusion that in the interests of discipline among the students of the college it was not desirable that he should continue in it. The Principal was approached by one of the members of the Managing Committee and he informed him that he would explain to him the reasons. The Inspector of Schools was approached and he too was satisfied that there was no good reason to interfere with the Principal's decision. There is a tendency of indiscipline in the student community and it would be subversive of discipline if this Court were to interfere with the action taken by the heads of institutions in the interests of discipline.

There is no guarantee in the Constitution that if a student is studying in any institution then he has a right to continue his education in that particular institution, even though he may not be acceptable to the authorities of the institution.

There is nothing in the rule (Rule 96 of the Education Code of the Utter Pradesh) to indicate that the Principal of the institution should communicate to the student the reasons for refusing admission to him. Indeed, sometimes it may be desirable in the interests of discipline itself not to communicate such reasons. The Principal has to refuse admission for adequate reasons. The fact that neither the Managing Committee of the college nor the District Inspector of Schools have taken any action to reverse the order of the Principal proves that the reasons for which he took the action against the petitioner were adequate.

Considering these, the Supreme Court has held that indiscipline is a ground for a college principal to expel a student from the institution.