HC asks Delhi University to clarify eligibility criteria and remove misleading information

According to the high court, such conflicting and deceptive criteria not only cause candidates’ minds to become confused but also result in needless legal disputes

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The Delhi High Court has ordered Delhi University¬†to take immediate corrective action by removing all content from its website that refers to admission eligibility requirements that differ from those outlined in the university’s informational bulletin or statutory rules.

According to the high court, such conflicting and deceptive criteria not only cause candidates’ minds to become confused but also result in needless legal disputes.

“This court would like to observe that the University of Delhi needs to take immediate corrective measures in identifying and removing all such material from its website which mentions the eligibility criteria for admission to any course, contrary to the one stipulated in the bulletin of information or the statutory rules, regulations and ordinances of the university, for such contradictory and misleading criteria not only creates confusion in the minds of the candidates but also leads to unwarranted litigation,” Justice Vikas Mahajan said in an order passed on January 24.

The high court order dismissed a plea in which a woman, who graduated in BSc (H) Biological Science from Delhi University, said she had applied for admission in MSc Botany under the merit category as an OBC (non-creamy layer) candidate for the 2022-2023 academic year but her candidature was ignored.

The argument made in the appeal claimed that despite the petitioner’s 88.96% score in BSc (H) Biological Science, she was not chosen for admission whereas the candidates chosen had substantially lower percentages, ranging from 88.71% to 86.40%.

The applicant claimed that the online application form for MSc Botany admission, which mentioned BSc (H) Biological Science as a requirement for the merit-based category, was misleading.

The high court rejected the argument, stating that the eligibility requirements outlined in the information bulletin for 2022 should be followed for admission to the MSc Botany programme under the merit category given the legal and factual conditions.

“The petitioner cannot take advantage of, or refuge under, the inadvertent error that has crept in the admission form available on the website. Such a mistake on part of the respondent-university would not clothe the petitioner with any legal right,” it said.

It said the petitioner did not even seek clarification from the university as to which eligibility criteria, the one given in the bulletin of information or that mentioned in the PG admission form, would apply.

Now after having unsuccessfully participated in the selection process, the petitioner cannot turn around and challenge the criteria of admission given in the bulletin of information, the court said.

“In the present case, the rules of the game were not changed midway. In fact, like the previous three years, the same criterion was notified in the bulletin of information 2022. The said decision, therefore, does not advance the case of the petitioner. In view of the above, there is no merit in the writ petition and, accordingly, the same is dismissed,” the high court said.

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