Students Of BITS Goa Ordered Community Service Instead Of Suspension For Stealing By Bombay HC

Students Of BITS Goa Ordered Community Service Instead Of Suspension For Stealing By Bombay HC

Both of the guys will now serve two hour community serve at an old age home, which is nearby to their college.

Siksha MUpdated: Tuesday, January 16, 2024, 03:45 PM IST
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Bombay High Court | PTI

The two students who were caught stealing from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science in Goa were ordered to perform community service for two months, two hours a day, by the Bombay High Court in Goa on Monday, instead of the previously ordered suspension, as reported by Hindustan Times. Both of the guys will now serve two hour community serve at an old age home, which is nearby to their college.

Chocolates, pens, desk lamps, among others were stolen from the stalls on the college campus by Vuribindi Mokshith Reddy (18) and Karri Kishore Ramachandra Reddy (19), and other three students.

Students wrote an apology letter

The five students, who also included the petitioners, acknowledged that they had taken various food items from the stalls, such as chocolates and chips, as well as other items, such as speakers and phone stands. However, they insisted that they thought the items had been left there so they merely picked those up. The students immediately gave the items back and expressed their apology through a letter.

During the first semester of 2023-24 and the following two semesters, all the five students were initially suspended, as per HT.

Court's order

On the other hand, the Appellate Authority upheld the ₹50,000 punishment but waived the semester cancelation penalty for the three other students. However, in case of the other two students, not only the fine was upheld but their semester cancellation was also not revoked. This prompted both the students to approach High Court.

The chief justice of the Bombay High Court's Goa division bench expressed disappointment that the institute's director and senior professor refused to lessen the punishment given, stating that "any reduction of punishment, at this stage, will encourage students to seek Court intervention against decisions given by the Institute, undermining the time-tested disciplinary system of the Institute," in spite of the high court's prodding, as per HT report.

The court also mentioned that it almost seemed like the director was irked with both the students approaching the Court in the matter and hence, refused to lessen their punishment. Further, the court has asked the institute to provide an explanation for the negligence from its own policies because the institute cannot just depend on the director's purportedly unrestricted discretion in such cases.

The high court also felt that it was necessary to intervene "when it is found there is discrimination in a matter of imposition of penalties or, where the penalties imposed are in breach of the guidelines enacted by the Institute itself or where the penalty imposed excludes considerations of reformation," despite the fact that it is "conscious that Courts normally do not interfere with the quantum of punishment imposed and leave it to the disciplinary authorities," as reported by Hindustan Times.

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