HC Directs DU To Take Corrective Measures To Remove Misleading Eligibility Criteria for Admissions

Delhi High Court has directed Delhi University to take immediate corrective measures by removing all material from its website that mentions the admission eligibility criteria contrary to the one stipulated in the varsity’s bulletin of information or statutory rules.

The high court said such contradictory and misleading criteria not only create confusion in the minds of candidates but also lead to unwarranted litigation.

“…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 plea said despite the petitioner having scored 88.96 per cent in BSc (H) Biological Science, she was not selected for admission while the candidates selected had much lower percentage — varying from 88.71 per cent to 86.40 per cent.

When the candidate enquired from the admission branch, she found out that she was not eligible for merit or entrance-based admission to MSc Botany course as the prospectus provided for eligibility qualification of BSc (H) Botany, which she did not possess.

The candidate submitted that she was misled by the online application form for admission to MSc Botany in which, for the merit-based category, the eligibility criteria included BSc (H) Biological Science.

The high court dismissed the plea saying that in view of the legal and factual position, it is beyond any cavil that the eligibility criteria, as mentioned in bulletin of information 2022, shall govern the admission to MSc Botany course under the merit category.

“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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