Student takes Monash University to Supreme Court for failing his late-submitted assignment

By @chelean on
Chinmay Naik
Chinmay Naik is suing Monash University for giving him a failing mark on a test. screenshot from 7 News

A Melbourne journalism student is suing Monash University for daring to fail him after he turned an assignment 19 days late. Chinmay Naik wants a Supreme Court judge to overturn his failing mark and allow him to pass.

Naik, 23, was handed a video assignment about the negative stereotypes surrounding certain dog breeds last year. He submitted his work 19 days late and got 12 out of 100 points. He failed the assignment again after it was re-marked with a higher score.

He needs to pass the assignment to finish his degree and be allowed to keep his visa.

Refusing to accept that he failed, he took his case to the Human Rights Commission and the Ombudsman, 7 News reports. Those bids were unsuccessful. He also wrote to former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull but did not get a response. The Victorian government responded, though, but it said it wouldn’t be able to help him.

He has now taken his case to the Supreme Court, hoping that it would be allowed to proceed to trial.

He believed that the same examiner marked his assignment on both occasions, and this, he said, breached the university’s policies. As for why he had submitted the assignment late, he said he didn’t have time to complete it as Monash was hesitant to grant him special consideration on mental health grounds, 9 News reports.

“I heard from other students who were subject to similar controversial practices,” he told reporters on Tuesday. “After hearing their stories, I felt like I was not just fighting a case for myself. It was for all of them. There will be a good precedent set if this matter goes to trial.”

Monash University’s lawyer Emily Latif said the school followed the proper re-marking process. They did not have to reveal the identity of the second marker as the person was concerned about the intensity of the scrutiny that would have followed.

Ms Latiff also asked the judge to resolve the case without a trial as the court doesn’t have the authority to give Naik what he seeks.

Justice Melinda Richards will consider if Naik has an arguable case and if it may go to trial.