engineering graduate who topped his course in 1992 is likely to
get his gold medal now, with the Punjab and Haryana high court
directing Panjab University here to honour him.
Rubinderjit Singh Brar, a civil engineering graduate from
Chandigarh's leading Punjab Engineering College (PEC), had topped
the bachelor of engineering (civil) examination held by the
university in 1992. He had scored 6,497 marks out of 8,000 and the
PEC authorities declared him the topper of the course.
However, university authorities refused to give him the gold medal
saying, under varsity rules it could only be given to a student
who had cleared all examinations of the course in the first
In Brar's case, he was forced to drop one theory examination of
the fourth semester in May 1990 due to serious illness. He cleared
the examination in the first available opportunity in January
"I represented to the university to give me the gold medal, as all
toppers get it, but they declined. They said this could only be
given to students who clear all their exams in the first attempt.
Following the refusal by the university, I filed a case with the
high court in 1993 itself," Brar told IANS here.
A division bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court here,
comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Surya Kant, has
directed the university to give Brar the gold medal, along with
all other recognitions he is entitled to, within six weeks..
Brar, who is now working as an excise and taxation official in
Punjab's Mohali town, had joined the engineering course in 1988
and passed out in 1992 with honours.
"As per the university regulations, a candidate who stands first
in the examination is entitled to be awarded a gold medal by the
university. However, the medal was not awarded to Brar on the
ground that as per the university rules, a medal can be granted
only to those candidates who clear all exams 'at the first
attempt'," Dheeraj Jain, lawyer for Brar, told IANS here.
Jain, appearing for the petitioner, argued that the ground on
which the medal has been denied to the petitioner by the
university is erroneous and the petitioner is fully entitled to
the award of the said medal.
He said the petitioner could not appear for the theory examination
because he was very seriously ill and had been advised complete
bed rest during that time.
Jain said: "As Brar did not appear for the theory exam, it could
not be considered his 'first attempt'."
He pointed out that Brar appeared for the said exam in the very
next available opportunity in 1991 and cleared the examination in
that very attempt.
"Therefore, he has cleared all his examinations in his 'first
attempt'," Jain added.
Quoting university rules, Jain argued that 'first attempt' has
been defined by the university as 'first time a candidate has
actually sat for the subject in the university examination'.
Brar, a meritorious student throughout his career, also stood
first in the entire university in the master of engineering
examination held in 1994. He also cleared the national and state
civil services examinations later.
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