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Bombay High Court rejects engineer’s (Vaibhav Patil) bid to return his degree

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A 26-year-old man’s guilt-driven attempt to get his engineering degree revoked because he cheated in an exam has failed to find support in the Bombay High Court.  A division bench of justices Shantanu Kemkar and MS Karnik on Tuesday rejected Vaibhav Patil’s petition that had sought directions for Mumbai University to cancel his Bachelor of Engineering (BE) degree. The bench concluded there was no provision in the University Act through which the court could entertain the plea.  But the sympathetic judges also said they didn’t want to put Vaibhav through more trauma by accepting the petition, which would have exposed him to prosecution.  After the hearing, Vaibhav told Mirror he was disappointed, but respected the court’s decision. “I wanted to overcome the guilt and shame of cheating and that’s why I had asked university officials to revoke my degree. When that didn’t work, I approached the court,” he said. “But I will try to move on now.”

Vaibhav, from Jalgaon, completed his engineering course with IT specialisation in 2011. But he didn’t take up any job because he could not get over the fact that he had cheated to obtain the degree. He had flunked his maths II paper in the first year, and on his friends’ advice, he paid an agent around Rs 20,000 to clear the subject. Vaibhav didn’t cheat again and passed in subsequent exams through honest work. It wasn’t enough and he slipped into depression. His worried parents sought psychiatric treatment for him and he was put on a course of anti-depressants, which he didn’t take. Finally, he decided to approach university officials to get his degree trashed and made several trips to their offices. The stumped officials had never encountered such a case and refused to grant his request, prompting him to seek help from the high court.  The university registrar, MA Khan, said on Tuesday Vaibhav could help himself by appearing for the exams again. “He has our sympathies and we can make a provision for him as a special case,” Khan said. “He can do his graduation again instead of wasting his golden years. Vaibhav, meanwhile, said the university should investigate the people who aided his cheating scheme. “I have given all the details of the case to the officials. They should now investigate and root out agents from the education system,” he said. –  Courtesy


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