Madhya Pradesh High Court Declares MP Board’s Stream Selection Rule Non-Retrospective

LI Network

Published on: February 6, 2024 at 14:19 IST

The Madhya Pradesh High Court, in a recent decision, allowed a student to opt for the Biology stream in Class XII instead of Mathematics, highlighting that the Madhya Pradesh Board of Secondary Education’s directive mandating the continuation of the same stream from Class XI to Class XII does not have retrospective application.

Justice Subodh Abhyankar, on a single-judge bench, clarified that the regulation outlining the examination guidelines was issued on 28.06.2023, after the petitioner student had already passed her Class XI examinations.

The Court emphasized that the new rule cannot be enforced on students who have already completed Class XI.

Referencing a Supreme Court dictum, Justice Abhyankar stated, “…If the facts of the case are tested on the anvil of the aforesaid dictum of the Supreme Court, it makes it more than clear that the respondents have tried to apply the Regulations issued on 28/06/2023. In such circumstances, when the aforesaid Regulation 14 itself cannot be applied in the case of the petitioner, the respondents cannot compel her to opt for Mathematics subject only with which was her subject in Class 11th.”

Despite the school records indicating the student’s admission to Class XII after the circular’s issuance, the Court considered the date of admission irrelevant, focusing instead on the date the student passed Class XI.

The Court emphasized that regulations should not be applied retrospectively to students who have already completed Class XI.

The Court also discussed a Division Bench decision, Assistant Excise Commissioner Kottayam & Ors. v. Esthappan Cherian & Anr, emphasizing that delegated legislation like rules or regulations cannot be construed as retrospective without express statutory authorization.

Regarding allegations that the student had opted for Mathematics instead of Biology, the court expressed doubts about the school authorities’ claims, suspecting a possible error correction by the authorities after granting admission in the Biology stream.

In conclusion, the Court declared that the circular has prospective application, and the student is entitled to appear for Class XII exams in the Biology stream. The judgment answered questions about the retrospective application of the regulations and the student’s initial subject choice during admission.

The petitioner, a student of Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Rau, approached the High Court seeking a change in her main subject to Biology after facing discrepancies in her admit card.

The Court’s decision comes as a relief to the student who had chosen Biology as her main subject during the admission process.

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