It was held that a viva voce Committee was the forum in which the candidate and his or her ideas that are assessed. It was not thefunction of the viva voce Committee to determine whether or not the candidatemerits the award. That the committee of reviewerssubmitted to the Graduate School provided a detailed review of the areas inwhich the thesis, even after the corrections were made, was deficient and a clearexplanation as to why it was not able to approve the dissertation for the award ofPHD. Therefore that the applicant had not established a case of illegality in theactions taken by either the viva voce panel, the review committee or other organof the respondent.
On whether there was any procedural impropriety in the processleading up to the decision of the review committee of therespondent.
It was contended by the applicant that he was subjected to unfair treatment in theprocess leading up to the decision of the review committee of the respondent, notto approve his dissertation for the award of PHD.
Court held that procedural impropriety may arise from one of three possible sources; either from (i) failure to adhere to procedural rules laid out by statute, or (ii) failure to observethe principles of natural justice; or (ii) failure to act fairly.
It was held that theduty resting upon the review committee did not include “to hear and decide” or "to give audience to.” That the respondent had no procedural duty to give the
applicant the opportunity for adequately presenting his corrections, save inwriting. That The requirement of fairness in academic assessment is et when it isdemonstrated that the decision was not taken capriciously or arbitrarily.
It was further held that the review committee fully informed the applicant of itsdissatisfaction with his research. Theultimate decision not to approve it wastaken after careful and deliberate analysis. Therefore court found that the respondent'sanctions were sufficient to meet the demands of procedural fairness in what was otherwise purely an academic assessment
Court considered whether the decision of the respondent's review committee to make aninquiry into the applicant's conduct of the study was irrational and outsideits mandate.
Court stated that in judicial review, reasonableness is concerned mostly with the existence ofjustification, transparency and intelligibility within the decision-making process.Judicial review ofdeterminations regarding academic standards is limited to the questions ofwhether the challenged determination was arbitrary and capricious, irrational,made in bad faith, or contrary to a Constitutional provision or a statute.
Additionally, court upheld judicial positions holding that both, the determinant of reasonableness inacademic assessment hinged on the question whether or not the decision wastaken with a sound basis in reason or with regard to the facts.
It was held that the validity of the reasons that led the review committee to take the course ofaction it did and eventually to make the recommendation that it did in relation tothe applicant's thesis, was a matter of academic judgment with which it would beinappropriate for this court to interfere. That court will not interfere unless bias, or unfairness, or prejudice on the part of thereview committee, or on the part any other member of the respondent's staff, orany procedural irregularity at any stage of the academic assessment. Accordingly that No compelling reasonshave been proved in the instant application to justify the court's interference.
Whether the circumstances of this case otherwise justified exercise ofthe court'sdiscretion to grant the prerogative orders sought.
Court emphasized thatthe grant of remedies under judicial review was at the discretion of the court.
court was of theview that when dealing with decisions taken by tertiary institutions, judicial reviewought to be a remedy of last resort: alternative remedies should be exhausted first.
It was held that the applicant had not exhausted the alternative remediesas provided for under the laws governing the respondent university or its internal neither did he demonstrate that they were ineffective or inappropriate to
address the substance of the complaints at issue so as to invite court'sintervention, exceptionally.
Ultimately court held that it was entitled to refuse certiorari
and mandamus to an applicant if the applicant has been guilty of unreasonable
delay or misconduct, notwithstanding that the applicant may have proved ausurpation of jurisdiction by the domestic tribunal or an omission to perform apublic duty.in this instance that the applicant had filed for judicial review almost one year after the said decision which was beyond the statutory 3 months period when to file for judicial review and had not afforded substantial grounds for extension.
Accordingly the application was dismissed.