Published: 06th July 2022
Delhi HC hears petitions in Stephens-DU row. DU says Stephen's should uniformly follow CUET process
Aided Minority Educational institutions are not allowed to admit students under the Unreserved category as per their "own whims and fancies": Affidavit filed by the DU read
On Wednesday, July 6, Delhi University in the Delhi High Court stated that St Stephen's College should uniformly follow the National Education Policy which recommends holding Common University Entrance Test (CUET). It is stated clearly in an affidavit filed by the Delhi University that Aided Minority Educational institutions are not allowed to admit students under the Unreserved category as per their "own whims and fancies," as stated in a report by ANI.
Currently, the Delhi High Court is dealing with two petitions, namely the first which was filed by St Stephen's College challenging the order of Delhi University to grant admission in undergraduate courses through the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) and to withdraw the prospectus issued by the college. The second was moved by Monika Poddar, a law student through a PIL who challenged the college's decision to continue with interviews for admission to its general seats.
On July 6, the Bench deferred the matter to July 15, after the UGC counsel advocate Apoorv Kurup sought time and stated that ASG Vikramjit Banerjee is down with COVID and was leading them in the matter, as stated in a report by ANI. During the hearing, questioning the credibility of the petitioner student, the counsel for St Stephen's College said, "The petitioner is a law aspirant and not seeking admission in Stephen's."
Additionally, Senior Advocate Arun Bhardwaj for the petitioner Kanika Poddar said that the college does not need any extra selection procedure for the general as "the colour of the minority has already been given," even from the times when there is a 50 per cent reservation. Extending its support to the student's petition, Delhi University said that by conducting interviews with students belonging to the non-minority communities, the college cannot be allowed to bring "subjectivity bias and discrimination".
Notices were given to all the respondents in both matters by the Delhi High Court earlier. Advocate Romy Chacko, appearing for St Stephen's, said that a letter stating to withdraw the prospects and give public clarification was written by the DU. With this, the Bench said, "Then don't implement the DU circular right now. We will hear the matter. No consequences are falling on you till the next date of hearing. You make a stick to your stand."
The college petition challenged DU's order to withdraw the prospects and grant admission process through CUET by stating that they are conducting interviews with students seeking admission to the college. This practice has been for so many years and it was allowed. Contradicting this, the respondents said, "The interviews were allowed to be conducted as there was no common admission entrance. Now the CUET is there."
The PIL stated that the DU policy specifically says that admission in the general category seats in its minority colleges like St Stephen's will be done only on the basis of marks obtained in CUET while in admission on reserved seats those colleges can give 15 per cent weightage to the interview and 85 per cent weightage to the CUET score at the time of admission. It is sought that admission should be granted according to the DU's recommendations, as stated in a report by ANI.