2 dental colleges in K’taka fined ₹1 lakh each for ‘speculative litigation’ | Bengaluru

Two dental colleges that approached the Karnataka High Court seeking admission for some students to dental courses have been fined 1 lakh each. The court said the colleges cannot make pleas on behalf of the students.

“If the petitioner-students were really deprived of the seats to which they were eligible, they would have approached the Court independently. The colleges cannot step into the shoes of students and file the writ petitions,” the court said. “Precious time of the petitioner-students has been wasted. So also, the petitioners have wasted the Court time for more than half a day, depriving the other genuine litigants,” the division bench of Justice B Veerappa and Justice K S Hemalekha said imposing the cost.

Sri Venkateshwara Dental College, Bengaluru and KVG Dental College, Sullia, approached the HC on behalf of six students. It was claimed that the website of the Karnataka Examination Authority (KEA) was not opening on May 2 and 3 when the students had to register and make payment for the mop-up round of counseling for BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery) courses. KEA however contended that the website was open for mop-up round registration from March 29, 2022 to March 31 and the date was extended to April 1, 2022.

During this period, 1,513 students got themselves registered. Only one of the six students who had filed these petitions had registered. The colleges did not dispute this fact. Sri Venkateshwara Dental College claimed that six seats out of the 40 in the college were vacant. KVG Dental College similarly claimed four out of the 100 seats in the college were vacant. The bench observed that this was the real motive of the colleges. “That is how the colleges have approached the Court to get an order to fill up the vacant post and thus, the exercise of the Colleges is for its personal benefit and not for the benefit of the students.” The court also noted that the addresses of the students who were the joint petitioners were mentioned as ‘care of’ the respective colleges. “We are bowled over as to how the students come under the ‘care of’ the college of which they are not the students at all. This clearly indicates, only with an intention to fill up the vacant seats, the petitioner-colleges have adopted the indirect method of getting an order from the Court and therefore, have not approached the Court with clean hands.”

Dismissing the petitions, the court said, “Filing and contesting these types of litigation is nothing but wasting precious public time and that of this Court and is nothing but harassing the respondent-authorities unnecessarily. Since the petitioners have not come to the Court with clean hands, they are not entitled to any relief before this Court.”

“The experience of this Court is that in recent years there has emerged a trend of filing speculative litigations before various Courts of law. It is the duty of the Courts to ensure that such litigations shall be weeded out at the first instance rather than allowing to be festered and thereby coming in the way of genuine litigants seeking justice treating the Court as “Temple of Justice” and to protect precious public and judicial time of the court.,” it said.

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