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GNLU students in detention limbo after allegedly retrospective rule change


Retrospective rule change leaves re-take students in a lurch
Retrospective rule change leaves re-take students in a lurch

At GNLU Gandhinagar, two students stand to lose a year due to alleged administrative inaction following a retroactive rule change. The students have been detained in the third year of BALLB for the second consecutive year in August 2016, despite the existence of a university regulation enabling them to potentially be promoted this year.

The students had failed a paper each in the final exams of their third year, in 2015, and were eligible to appear for a repeat exam in July 2016.

According to the university rules at the time they failed their papers in 2015, detained students are allowed to take a 100 mark repeat exam for papers they fail after one year of detention.

However, in February 2016 GNLU amended this rule to provide that detained students would be allowed to take the repeat exam only after completing two years of detention, instead of one.

The two detained third year students applied in May 2016 to take the repeat exam for a shot to make it into fourth year - a year late after their detention - in August. The administration rejected their applications on 13 July without stating any reasons for rejection. On verbally interacting with the exam department the students were made aware that their applications were rejected due to the amended rules.

The students then wrote to the registrar that same week, arguing that amended rules could not have retroactive application and in their case the regulation as it stood at the time when they failed their papers, made them eligible to appear for the repeat exam in July 2016.

The academic session for 2016-2017 has already begun and the two students have still not heard from the GNLU administration, with the result that they are still sitting in the third year of the five-year BALLB program.

One of the two students told /Legally India/ that the registrar had most recently informed them that their application was sitting with the academic council.

We have reached out to GNLU director Bimal Patel for comment in the morning today, but have received no response yet.

The regulations that are behind the confusion in this case - the Gujarat National Law University (Academic, Mooting, Internship, Examinations, Hostel and Other Matters) Regulations 2015 – also courted controversy during the hearing of GNLU student Jaymin Brahmbatt’s writ against GNLU and Patel in the Gujarat high court.

During arguments in that case, GNLU cited certain amended provisions in the regulation which would have affected the petitioner adversely and GNLU and Patel favourably, were they applied retroactively. However, eventually, GNLU assured the high court that the amendment will not have retroactive application.

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