Supreme Court to hear St Stephen's plea against Delhi HC order on DU admission policy today 

DU orders St Stephen's College to follow the CUET entrance exam for admission to UG courses
St. Stephen's College, Delhi | Pic: Twitter
St. Stephen's College, Delhi | Pic: Twitter

The Supreme Court today, Monday, October 17, is scheduled to hear a plea of St Stephen's College, Delhi, against an order of the Delhi High Court that stating that the college should follow the admission policy of Delhi University, a report by PTI said. 

Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit in his administrative capacity, has ordered that the case of the minority institution be listed before a bench comprising Justices Ajay Rastogi and CT Ravikumar, after Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul recused himself from the case on October 10, stating that he is an alumnus of the institution and would not like to judge the case due to the current "vitiated" atmosphere.

“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. But what can be done. It is an issue of constitutional interpretation. It is not something that can be settled. A call will have to be taken on how it is to be read,” Justice Kaul had said while recusing from the hearing, as reported by PTI.

What did the Delhi High Court order St Stephen's?

The PTI report also said that, on September 12, this year, the Delhi High Court ordered St Stephen's College to follow Delhi University's admission policy, which states that the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) 2022 score must be given 100% weightage when admitting non-minority students to undergraduate (UG) courses.

The High Court said that the college could not conduct interviews for non-minority candidates and that admission should be based only on CUET scores. It further stated that under the Constitution of India, the rights granted to a minority institution cannot be extended to non-minorities. 

The High Court said that while the institution has the ability to conduct interviews in addition to the CUET score for the admission of Christian students, it cannot compel non-minority candidates to appear for interviews.

Prospectus and other issues 

While instructing St Stephen's to retract its prospectus granting 15% weightage to interviews for admission to these unreserved seats, in addition to taking a candidate's CUET score into account, the HC bench ruled that the DU, "cannot insist upon a single merit list for admission of candidates belonging to the Christian community regardless of denomination, etc,” stated the PTI report.

The High Court order was given in response to petitions filed by a law student and the institution challenging the legality of the process for admitting students against unreserved non-minority seats for UG courses.

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