Saturday, August 13, 2022

Supreme Court allows impleadment of students in plea against St Stephen’s College over cut-off manipulation

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the impleadment of students in a petition against St Stephens College for failing to grant them admission. The bench comprising Chief Justice of India Justice S.A. Bobde, Justice A.S. Bopanna and Justice V. Ramasubramanian issued notice and kept it for hearing the petition of Nandita Narain Satya Mitra, an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the college. She had moved the Apex Court after the Delhi High Court had dismissed her plea.

Petitioner’s counsel Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves informed the Apex Court that as suggested by the Court, students have been impleaded and with the petitioner’s consent. CJI Bobde then said we will allow the impleadment and keep the petition for hearing.

The petitioner alleged that the college had called students for the written test and interview in far less numbers than required against the quota reserved for various categories of applicant-students. The petitioner said that as a result of the move, the cut-off required for admission in these categories, was raised due to which less number of students were able to apply for the admission resulting in huge number of vacant seats.

The petitioners alleged that in contradiction of above-mentioned category, students were called for written test and interview in far excess than what ought to have been in the Christian Others category. Therefore, the seats meant for special categories, such as Christian and Non-Christian persons with disabilities, Scheduled Tribes, etc. were diverted to the General Category Christian.

The petitioner has demanded the quashing of notice, dated June 26, 2019, announcing the cut-offs for admission to various courses in the college in addition to the quashing of Corrigendum dated July 2, 2019. She has prayed before the court to direct the college to rework and re-notify their cut-off marks for Christian Scheduled Tribe (CST), Christian Others (COTH), Christian Physically Handicapped (CPH) and Non-Christian Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe/Physically Handicapped candidates and call them for written-test an interview subsequently.

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Earlier, the Delhi High court had dismissed the plea saying it was devoid of merits.

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