Mere lodging of FIR cannot be reason to expel student: HC


File photo of Bombay High Court.

File photo of Bombay High Court.

The Bombay High Court quashed an order passed by a college expelling a computer engineering student, observing that an FIR cannot be treated as “gospel truth” and cannot be a reason for expulsion.

A division bench of Justices BR Gavai and SK Shinde quashed and set aside an August 5 order passed by Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management and Engineering College affiliated to Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) expelling the 21-year-old student.

The order expelling the student was passed after an FIR was lodged against him in June for allegedly raping and cheating a girl under the false pretext of marriage.

The student approached the high court challenging the institute’s order on the ground that he was not given an opportunity to put forth his case.

The bench earlier this week after hearing the parties concerned concluded that the institute had admittedly acted upon the FIR lodged against the petitioner and expelled him without holding any enquiry.

“In other words, the petitioner has been punished and kept away from pursuing further studies without a hearing given to him. Thus, the order of the institute was in violation of principles of natural justice,” the court said.

“We are also of the view that, registration of a crime cannot be taken as a gospel truth and held out to be a foundation to expel the petitioner,” it noted.

The bench said the petitioner had not indulged in illegal activities in the campus of the institute.

“No doubt, the offence registered against the petitioner is serious in nature, however, the fact remains that the institute expelled the petitioner merely on the ground that FIR is being registered against him by the complainant who is no way concerned with the institute,” it said.

“In our view, if the impugned orders are not quashed, would certainly harm his career, which cannot be compensated in terms of money or otherwise. The petitioner cannot therefore be made to suffer the consequences merely on the basis of the allegations made against him and that too, before trial,” the court said.

The bench while quashing the order directed the institute to admit the petitioner to resume his studies and condone any deficiency in attendance from the time the order of expelling him was passed till date.