Friday, February 3, 2023

Delhi HC dismisses plea challenging Delhi Univ decision to consider only marks awarded in Class XII for admission

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The Delhi High Court on Friday dismissed a plea challenging Delhi University’s decision to consider only marks awarded in Class XII for determining merit for admission to the university in the 2021-22 academic session while stating that the instant petition is filed at a “highly belated” stage.

The Division Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh was dealing with a plea seeking setting aside of the Admission Bulletin issued by Delhi University for 2021-22 inasmuch as it stipulated that only marks awarded in Class XII be filled during admission process, even in cases where the State Board marks statement contains combined marks of both Class XI and Class XII.

Advocate Mohinder J.S Rupal, representing Delhi University, raised objection with regard to locus standi of the petitioner association in espousing the alleged cause. He submitted that the prospectus for admission to the undergraduate courses in the Delhi University was issued in June 2021 clearly laying down that only marks awarded in Class XII by State Boards, where separate marks are awarded in respect of Classes XI and XII, will be considered.

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Contending that no student from the concerned State Board which issue such consolidated marksheet for Classes XI and XII has raised any grievance before the Court, Advocate Rupal submitted that the petition is highly belated as the admission process is nearly on the verge of completion.

The Bench, while dismissing the petition, noted:

“Even if we were to proceed on the basis that the petitioner has the locus standi to maintain the present petition as a Public Interest Litigation, being a student body, we are of the view that firstly, the petition is highly belated and secondly, even otherwise the same lacks merit.”

Filed by the Delhi University Students’ Union through Advocate Ashish Dixit, the plea points out that since several years in the past, the Delhi University had been considering the combined marks of both Class XI and Class XII in cases in cases where State Boards publish consolidated mark sheets setting out marks of both XI and XII standard, to determine merit of students who seeks admission in the Delhi University. 

The plea alleges that this year, the Admission Advisory Committee of the University, vide a decision dated October 4, 2021, unilaterally and arbitrarily adopted a different procedure to the effect only the marks the marks awarded in Class XII are being considered even though State Board of several States, such as Kerala, issue marks statement indicating the marks obtained by the students in both Classes XI and XII.

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The petitioner association sent a representation to the Vice Chancellor of the University on October 9, 2021, but no action has been taken on the representation as yet. In light of the above, the plea sought quashing of the Delhi University’s decision to only consider marks of Class XII for admission and to take into consideration the consolidated marks for admission in cases where State Board has given consolidated mark sheet as was the previous policy.

The plea thus averred:

“The conduct of Respondent no. 2 (Delhi University) is arbitrary and premised upon ipse dixit of its officials. The Respondent No. 2 has not taken into consideration that grave prejudice and harm of 24 career to innumerable students, who are the ultimate casualty in this manifestly arbitrary approach of Respondent No. 2.”

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