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Orissa HC Orders Sambalpur University to pay Rs 5 Lakh Compensation for Wrongly Failing Student 12 yrs ago

Bhubaneswar: The Orissa High Court has directed Sambalpur University to pay Rs 5 lakh compensation to a private student who was wrongly failed in the Bachelor in Commerce (BCom) course 12 years ago.

Justice SK Panigrahi, presiding over a single judge bench, underscored the pivotal role of universities in ensuring the efficient administration of exams and the timely publication of results. The court emphasized that any lapse in these processes could have severe repercussions on students’ academic journey, career prospects, and overall well-being.

“Universities hold a significant responsibility towards their students, particularly in the efficient administration of exams and the timely publication of results. These processes are fundamental to the academic journey of students and any lapse can have serious implications on their academic progress, career prospects and overall well-being,” stated Justice Panigrahi.

The ruling came in response to a plea by Bibhuti Bhusan Barik, who had passed the BCom course but faced erroneous failure in the examination conducted through Panchayat College, Bargarh examination centre, in 1999. Despite successfully completing the course, his result was withheld due to a procedural error. It wasn’t until May 17, 2012, that Barik was declared to have passed the course. Subsequently, he petitioned the High Court in 2015, seeking compensation from Sambalpur University for the loss of valuable years of his life.

In the judgment, Justice Panigrahi noted the significant hardship endured by Barik and the substantial loss of 10 years of his professional life. Recognizing the irreparable nature of the loss, the court ordered Sambalpur University to pay Rs 5 lakh as compensation to the petitioner.

“Compensation can provide some relief, but it does not absolve universities of their responsibilities. Universities must strive to prevent such lapses through robust systems, regular audits, and a commitment to student welfare,” emphasized Justice Panigrahi.

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