Delhi University yet again is at loggerheads with its minority-administered south campus Jesus and Mary College on the decision to do away with the interview in the upcoming admission season for its minority students. Delhi University cannot take over admissions under Minority quota, states JMC plea.
Jesus and Mary College has filed a High Court petition in an effort to overturn Delhi University’s decision about the admission procedure for the academic year 2023-2024. According to a notification released by the University on December 30, 2022, The Executive Council of Delhi University made a decision to give admissions at both UG and PG levels solely on the basis of Common University Entrance Test (CUET) score. This policy also covers admissions under reserved categories and minority quotas. As confirmed by numerous other sources, the university intends to use only CUET scores as the only criterion for admission regardless of any category.
Conflicting views have emerged between the minority colleges and the University as a result of this decision. Advocate Romy Chacko advances JMC’s argument which states that is in clear violation of Article 30, of the Constitution of India to insist on giving 100 per cent weightage to CUET scores under the 50 per cent minority quotas.
Minorities have the fundamental right to establish and administer educational institutions under Article 30. Hence, the plea declares that University cannot interfere with their right or take absolute control of admissions as it is Ultra vires ( an act beyond one’s legal capacity or authority ) and unconstitutional.
A similar concern was raised by St. Stephens in September 2022 which sparked a legal battle between the college and the University where the college wanted to conduct interviews for the admission process apart from the CUET scores. In their plea, St. Stephens insisted on giving 85 per cent to CUET scores and the rest 15 per cent to its interview round for non-Christian applicants. While they stressed this was their right as a minority institution to take decisions independently, The High Court ordered the college to concentrate only on CUET merit for admitting non-minority students adding that the interview process can be carried out for the minority students. The college appealed the High Court decision to the Supreme Court after that.
The JMC plea makes a reference to this High Court decision dated September 12 and notes that while the St. Stephens case is still pending with the Supreme Court, this decision of the Executive Council is in conflict with the previous High Court Judgement and suffers from ‘total non-application of mind’.
On Tuesday, the matter was listed before a bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad. The Delhi High Court is now set to hear this plea by Jesus and Mary College on May 24, 2023. Notices for the same have been sent to Delhi University and UGC.
Image Credits – Jesus and Mary official website