The Karnataka High Court on Saturday quashed a note issued by the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA) by which second year pre-university exam marks of students from the 2020-21 batch was not considered for rankings in entrance to professional courses. For students of 2021-22 batch, the usual 50 per cent Common Entrance Test marks and 50 per cent second year PU marks were considered. But for students of the 2020-21 batch, only the CET test marks was considered as per this note.
The KEA’s rationale for not considering second year PU exam marks of 2020-21 students was that they were promoted based on internal marks as exams were hampered during the COVID-19 pandemic. The single-judge bench of Justice S R Krishna Kumar quashed the July 30 note of the KEA and directed it to redo the entire rank list after considering 50 per cent PUC marks and 50 percent CET marks of all students.
The court, quashing the note said, considering PU second year marks as ‘nil’ “would lead to and result in absurd consequences which cannot be countenanced in the facts and circumstances of the instant case.” The KEA note was found illegal on several counts. The provision made for CET ranking in 2020-21 cannot be extended to 2021-22, the court said. The court also said the July 30 note is contrary to the KEA’s own bulletin. The “impugned note is contrary to the principles of legitimate expectation and promissory estoppel and the same deserves to be quashed,” the court said.
The court, during an earlier hearing, had suggested a compromise formula where 75 per cent CET marks and 25 percent second year PU marks would be used to compute the CET rankings. The KEA, though, was not open to such a compromise. On Saturday, the court upheld the petition by scores of students in 10 different petitions and quashed the KEA’s note. Now, the entire CET ranking for entrance to professional courses has to be redone on the 50-50 formula.
This year, there were around 24,000 students from the 2020-21 batch who were relating their appearance for the CET exams. These students who passed PUC in 2020-21, writing the CET in 2022, approached the High Court. “The non-consideration of qualifying marks of repeater students while determining the merit/rank in KCET, 2022 is violative of the CET-2006 Admission rules and has an effect of deterioration of ranks thereby causing grave injustice as it is prejudicial, unfair, inequitable and against the principles of natural justice,” the petitioners had claimed.
Advocate Shathabish Shivanna, who fought the case on behalf of the students, said more than 24,000 students would benefit from the judgement.