DATE OF JUDGEMENT:
20th December 2010
Honourable Chief Justice, Honourable Justice Manmohan
(Petitioner) : Ms. Jigya Yadav(Minor) Through (Guardian/ Father) Mr. Hari Singh
(Respondent) : Central Board of Secondary Education & Ors.
The facts of this case suggest that Jigya Yadav is a student who has filed a writ petition in the High Court of Delhi through her father Hari Singh, as she is a minor. Her counsel has contended that one of the bylaws of the C.B.S.E. Examination bye-laws do not permit any correction in the name of either candidate or their parents. She mentions that Jigya's parent’s names have been recorded incorrectly as Hari Singh Yadav and Mamta Yadav instead of Hari Singh and Mamta. They submitted Jigya's birth certificate where their names have been recorded as the latter instead of the former. It has been submitted before the court that if the petitioner is not allowed to correct such an unintentional error then it will lead to the violation of the fundamental right to education of the petitioner along with her right to travel for higher education.
1. It has been contended by the counsel appearing for the respondent's that C.B.S.E. is an autonomous and independent body and so it will not be compliant to the writ jurisdiction. He also mentioned that, it is an autonomous society which is registered under the Societies Registration Act, and is self-financed and is also not a statute and is governed by its own rules and regulations. However, in response to this the counsel appearing for the petitioner stated that C.B.S.E. will come under the ambit of state under Article12. She mentioned that there have been a lot of cases where this argument of, weather a body will be considered as a state or not has been repeatedly argued upon. She cited two such cases namely ‘Ajay Hasia and Ors. V. Khalid Mujib Sehravardi and Ors.’ and ‘Pradeep Kumar Biswas V. Indian Institute of Chemical Biology and Ors.’ and she stated that if a body performs a public function or if there is deep and pervasive control exercised on that body by the state or even the central government then it will come under the ambit of state under Article12.
2. The court stated that as per Article226, the expression any person or authority which has been mentioned in the article will not only be confined to the statutory authorities and instrumentality is of the state but they will also cover all those bodies which perform public duty, this was emphasised in the case of ‘Andi Mukta Sadguru Shree Muktajee Vandas Swami Suvarna Jayanti M Mahotsav Smarak Trust and Ors. V. V.R. Rudani and Ors.’ along with the case of ‘U.P. State Co-operative Land Development Bank Ltd. V. Chandra Bhan Dubey and Ors.’
3. The court said that it was the case of ‘Binny Ltd. & Anr. V. V. Sadasivan & Ors.’ Where the Supreme Court had held that even those private bodies which are responsible for discharging duties which are public in nature will be amenable or compliant to the writ jurisdiction under Article 226. The writ will be considered as maintainable against C.B.S.E. as writs can be issued against bodies which are private in nature but exercise public function or discharge public duties.
4. The constitutionality of the bye-law 69.1 has been challenged by the petitioners in their appeal. They have contended that this bye-law which has been challenged leave no recourse for correction of the names of their parents. They have also called these bye-laws as arbitrary as they do not recognize the hardships which they put the students through. The counsel for the petitioner states that even in cases where an unintentional mistake has been made, the petitioner should be entitled to correct it instead of being forced to repeat the same error.
5. The counsel further contends that C.B.S.E. is exercising their powers in an illegal manner and constraining it for the interest of their own efficiency and causing injustice to the petitioner. And to state that this is unfair the respondent has mentioned and cited the following cases : ‘Indian Aluminium Company V. Kerala State Electricity Board', and ‘J.K. Aggarwal V. Haryana Seeds Development Corporation Ltd. & Ors.’ along with ‘Dhruva Parate V. CBSE & Anr.’ Where it had been held by the court that any executive agency which is operating within the field of its discretion cannot circumscribe their own rights.
6. The counsel for the petitioner stated that these actions would affect the right to education of the petitioner, her career along with her decision to travel for higher education, and will stand as violative of her fundamental rights.
7. The counsel for the respondents have mentioned that the C.B.S.E is not entitled with either the power or the resources to verify the details of every candidate independently and they have to rely upon the records which are given to them by the schools.
8. It was held by the court that the evidence which was put before them states that, there has not been any unintentional error on the behalf of the parents of the petitioner, while entering their names in the school records., as they have consistently filled their names as Hari Singh Yadav and Mamta Yadav and not Hari Singh and Mamta in the school documents including the admission forms.
9. In their final judgement, it was stated by the court that the parents of petitioner consciously and consequently choose to fill in their names as Hari Singh Yadav and Mamta Yadav in the school records. The court further said that the present petition cannot deal with the challenge of constitutionality of the bye-laws as it is the petitioner’s parents who are at fault and this error has been repeated by them on multiple occasions. The court also stated that even if the regulations would have permitted, the change of names shouldn’t be permitted as they chose to fill those names on their own wish and account.
10. It was by citing the judgement of ‘Mrutunjay Pani & Anr. V. Narmada Bala Sasmal & Anr.’ That the court stated that the tendency to challenge the validity of statutes, rules and bye-laws on the ground of them being arbitrary and unconstitutional by filing petitions has become very common even when the conduct of petitioners is not free from the blame itself.
Today filing of petitions to challenge the constitutional validity of either bye-laws or laws or statutes has become very common as mentioned by the court above. As a society and even as individuals we are always ready to put the gun on someone’s head for their wrongdoing without even realising that we could be the ones who are wrong at that point. We have forgotten the concept of discussing issues and resolving problems. Unfortunately, what has just remained of us is our petty egos, we have just become people who listen to argue or reply but not to actually listen or understand as to what the person on the other side is saying.
Approaching the court has become easier but we need to understand that there are very important matters and plenty of them that the court has to deal with, which is why we must refrain from doing so if we ourselves are at fault. The courts also have to be very thoughtful and careful when they give decisions on matters academic matters as they play such a crucial part in one’s life.
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