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HC disposes GNLU appeal v 'oligarchy' order, orders independent inquiry into cheating allegation

Guj HC: Let independent committee look into cheating case (rather than judgment by oligarchy)
Guj HC: Let independent committee look into cheating case (rather than judgment by oligarchy)

GNLU Gandhinagar will now complete its disciplinary proceedings against third year LLB student Jaymin Brahmbatt through an external inquiry committee which will decide whether Brahmbatt is guilty of cheating on a university exam. Brahmbatt will be allowed to proceed to the fourth year of LLB pending the enquiry.

Gujarat high court justices MR Shah and AS Supehia disposed of GNLU’s appeal against an order of a single judge of the high court who had ruled that GNLU had violated its own regulations and the principles of natural justice in the manner in which it had dealt with Brahmbatt’s case of alleged cheating during the exam, noting that GNLU was being run like an oligarchy that violated human rights.

GNLU had appealed against that order arguing that it was premature because the law school was yet to complete the disciplinary proceedings against Brahmbatt. The law school had also filed an application for interim stay on the order for the duration of pendency of the internal disciplinary proceedings. But the high court had dismissed the application for interim stay, holding that it had no confidence in the fairness of an enquiry conducted internally at GNLU

Disposing of the appeal today, the high court ordered that the committee that will conduct Brahmbatt’s disciplinary proceedings will be comprised of “Shri Mukesh Patel, renowned income tax practitioner and Shri Amal Dhru, chartered accountant”.

The court said that based on mutual consensus between Brahmbatt and GNLU, it passed the following other directions:

1. GNLU should initiate disciplinary proceedings against Brahmbatt in accordance with the disciplinary regulations on exams that were existing prior to the February 2016 amendment by which GNLU director Bimal Patel had co-opted the powers of the executive council to take disciplinary measures against allegedly guilty students, as the high court had indicated previously.

2. A family friend of Brahmbatt – Jayesh D Brahmbatt – has been allowed to accompany him before the inquiry committee

3. The venue of the inquiry would be decided by the Student Inquiry Committee under GNLU’s regulations

4. GNLU’s executive council would be the authority that will take the final decision in Brahmbatt’s case. It will do so by looking at the report of the inquiry committee, and taking a decision within 30 days from the submission of the report

5. Even though his exam stands cancelled at the moment, Brahmbatt would be allowed to proceed to the fourth year pending the inquiry, but would not be allowed to claim any equitable rights later on the basis of this promotion to fourth year

[documentcloud http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2860457-Guj-HC-appeal-in-Jaymin-Brahmbatt-vs-GNLU html Gujarat high court appeal order in Brahmbatt vs GNLU case]

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