The High Court of Karnataka has ordered a nursing college in Kalaburagi to pay a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to ten students whom it enrolled by fraud.
Mother Mary College of Nursing was found to have admitted the students after the last date of admission and inserted their names in the registration book and the attendance register.
The college had, however, claimed it could not upload the details of these students to the University due to a technical glitch.
The High Court said it cannot direct the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) to accept the fraud committed by the college. Since the students are now unable to attend the exams, it was for the college to compensate them, the court said.
“I am of the considered opinion that the losses which have been caused to the students would also have to be made good by the petitioner-College in monetary terms, though the same may not offer adequate succour to the said students,” Justice Suraj Govindaraj said in his recent judgement.
Ordering the payment of Rs 10 lakh to each student, the HC said, “Petitioner No.1-College is directed to make payment of a sum of Rs.10,00,000 (Rupees ten lakhs only) each to the petitioner Nos.2 to 11 as compensation for the loss of one year which has been caused to them.”
The college and ten students had approached the HC by way of a writ petition. It was claimed that these students were admitted for the first year of BSc Nursing course in the academic year 2021-22.
The college failed to upload the details of these students on the University website before April 7, 2022. It claimed there were technical issues. Since the University did not allow these students to write exams, the petition was filed before the HC.
The University’s counsel submitted to the court that the names of these students were added to the Register in the college by pasting a paper on existing names. The names were added after the admission process was completed. If there was a technical issue, the details could have been e-mailed the same day or the following day, he argued.
The HC ordered that the original Admission Register be produced before it. On inspection of the same, it was found that the names of these students were “added by pasting a small piece of paper in line with the grid of columns and rows, as if to show that the name always existed in the Register.”
The Court also checked the attendance register and found that while the names of all other students were in alphabetic order, the names of these ten students were in a haphazard manner.
“A mere inspection of the said Register gives rise to a very shocking and sad state of affairs of the petitioner-College,” the HC said, adding “The manner in which the petitioner-College has indulged in the aforesaid activities is shocking to say the least.”
Apart from imposing the compensation, the HC also directed that action be taken against the college by the University and the police.
“The action on the part of the petitioner-College would also require investigation by the appropriate authority including the police authorities to determine the fraud played and take necessary action including criminal action, if necessary, apart from other administrative action that the University would be permitted to take against the petitioner-College,” the HC said.