Friday, March 24, 2023

DU Admission criteria: Supreme Court adjourns petition filed by the St.Stephens College

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Today the Supreme Court adjourned the hearing of the petition which was filed by the St.Stephen’s College challenging the admission criteria laid down by the Delhi University as Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, who was the presiding judge of the bench, recused on the ground that he was an alumni of the college.

The bench was considering a Special Leave Petition that was filed by the College against an order passed by the Delhi High Court which directed that St Stephens College that the admission should be as per the CUET score only.

As Justice Kaul expressed his intention to be away from the case citing the reason of being an alumni, the Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal,who represented the St Stephens coppege gave example of  Chief Justice Kirpal who did not  recuse from hearing the TMA Pai case relating to minority educational rights, even after being alumni of the same.

Justice Kaul in the easiest manner said the times have changed the environment has been vitiated to an extent where it becomes difficult for us. It makes no difference to me as to what I will rule or how I will rule?

Justice Kaul said that this is  an issue of constitutional interpretation which cannot be  be settled and a call will have to be taken on how it is to be read.

The bench said that as one of the  Judges is an alumnus of the College. Given the current environment, it will be difficult for this court to take up the matter”,

Sibal,told the court that today it has to decide on the students to be admitted so what will we do now?

He further said that that the Court should instruct the University to not take any precipitative steps. “Then Your Lordships must tell them that they should not do it. Otherwise, it’s not our fault.”

The bench said to delay the process till Monday, we will tell them.

Justice Abhay Oka who too was the part of the  Bench, added that since there’s a recusal, the University itself must make that statement. ‘

He asked Sibal and party not to create a difficult situation for the Court.

 The court then ordered that Counsel for the petitioner submits that there will be aggravating circumstances by tomorrow itself, we expect the parties to hold their hands till the matter is heard Matter to be placed before the Hon. Chief Justice.” “I will ensure that it reaches the Chief Justice today itself.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who had rushed to the court told the Bench that the University of Delhi would not take any precipitative action till the Top Court hears the matter.

While the matter was discussed the Bench threw light on the key constitutional issue to be considered in the matter which questions if a minority institution, can have different norms for people arising from the minority community and non-minority community.

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