Referred to Larger Bench XII: Doctrine of Relation Back in Admissions

My Lord, Can grant of monetary compensation be considered as the sole and adequate remedy for a student who has been deprived of admission, despite he or she being meritorious, vigilant and diligent, because of lapses committed either by the counselling authority or the administrating authority intrinsically connected with the process of admission?

It is a grievance that pertains to fundamental rights. The redressal of a fundamental right, if one deserves to have, cannot be weighed in terms of grant of compensation only. Grant of compensation may be an additional relief. Confining it to grant of compensation as the only measure would defeat the basic purpose of the fundamental rights which the Constitution has conferred so that the said rights are sustained. It would be inapposite to recognize the right, record a finding that there is a violation of the right and deny the requisite relief. A young student should not feel that his entire industry to get himself qualified in the examination becomes meaningless because of some fault or dramatic design of certain authorities and they can get away by giving some amount as compensation.

In this regard, we may, with profit, refer to the dictum laid down in Jang Singh v. Brij Lal, AIR 1966 SC 1631.  The three words that have been proclaimed in the said judgment, namely, nunc pro tunc, is basically in the realm of doctrine of relation back and it is applied because of the fault of the Court, the litigant should not suffer. At this juncture, we are obliged to say that when the Courts have gone to the extent of saying that for the fault of the Court, the litigant should not suffer, it is unimaginable that for the fault of the administrators or the counselling body or for some kind of evil designer, grant of compensation should be regarded as the lone remedy. We think not; as we are reminded of what Justinian had said “justice is the constant and perpetual wish to render to everyone, his due”.

In view of the aforesaid, we think the decision in Chandigarh Administration, (2014) 10 SCC 521 requires re-consideration by a Larger Bench.”

Hon’ble Justice Dipak Misra, S. Krishna Sradha v. State of Andhra Pradesh, [Civil Appeal No. 1081 of 2017].

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