Many students remain under impression that .50 or above marks are rounded off as 1. Many institutions also extend benefit of the rounding off. Legally it is incorrect. Rule of rounding off can not be applied unless the relevant statute/rules/ordinances provide for this. This position has been reiterated by the apex courtin many cases. Recent one is THE REGISTRAR, RAJIV GANDHI UNIVERSITY OF HEALTH SCIENCES, BANGALORE VS. G. HEMLATHA AND OTHERS decided a day before yesterday i.e. on 23/08/2012 .
In this case a nurse of primary Health Center after working for more than 8 years got permission from superior authorities to pursue M.Sc. (Nursing) course. She had obtained 54.71 marks in B.Sc. (Nursing) . Eligibility marks for admission was 55%. She approached the Secretary, Indian
Nursing Council, requesting that a certificate of eligibility be issued to her who in turn communicated to her
that 0.50% would normally be rounded-off to next digit. She was asked to approach the concerned authority of the institute in that regard. Accordingly, she approached the University and the University gave eligibility certificate. She, then, approached the Principal, Navodaya College of Nursing, Raichur, Karnataka, the second respondent herein. With the said certificate she obtained admission in the management quota.
When she was preparing to take the annual examination, she was informed by the second respondent that she was not eligible to take examination as she has secured less than 55% in the qualifying examination. She approached the University for reconsideration of her case. She was
informed that on reconsideration it was found that she was not eligible totake examination. She, therefore, preferred writ petition in the High Court challenging the said communication. She obtained an interim order permitting her to take first year examination. She took the examination but, results were withheld. She was also permitted to take the second year examination by an interim order. Thus, she had completed the PG course by taking both the examinations. Single Judge of the High Court, by applying the rule of rounding-off of numbers, held that 54.71% marks obtained by respondent 1 should be rounded-off to 55%. Thus, respondent 1 became eligible by virtue of the High Court’s order. Learned Single Judge
set aside the endorsement issued by the petitioner stating that respondent 1 was not eligible for admission to the PG course in M.Sc. (Nursing). Letters patent appeal against said order was dismissed by the Division Bench.
The Supreme Court held that, when eligibility criteria is prescribed in a qualifying
examination, it must be strictly adhered to. Any dilution or tampering with it will work injustice on other candidates. The Division Bench of the High Court erred in holding that learned Single Judge was right in rounding-off of 54.71% to 55% so as to make respondent 1 eligible for admission to PG course. Such rounding-off is impermissible.