HC directs St Stephen’s College to follow DU admission policy for 2022-23

The Delhi High Court on Monday directed St Stephen’s College of Delhi to follow policies laid down by the Delhi University for admission in 2022-2023.

The Bench of Justice Satish Chander Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad in its judgement passed on Monday also directed St Stephen’s college to withdraw its admission prospectus issued for this academic year.

The bench directed the college administration to issue a fresh prospectus giving 100 per cent weightage to the CUET 2022 score for admission to students belonging to the non-minority category applying to the undergraduate courses for 2022-2023.

The bench passed judgement on petitions concerning the issue of admission procedure at St Stephen’s College of Delhi for its unreserved seats category in undergraduate courses for the academic session 2022-23.

Previously, the college gave 85 per cent weightage to Common University Entrance Test (CUET) score and 15 per cent to interviews, which is contrary to the new admission process announced by Delhi University.

The Delhi High Court was examining two petitions, one was moved by Stephen’s College challenging the order of the Delhi University to grant admission in undergraduate courses through the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) and to withdraw the prospectus issued by the college and the second plea was moved by Monika Podcastsa law student, through a PIL challenging the college’s decision to continue with interviews for admission to its general seats.

The High Court on August 30, 2022, had kept the order reserved in that matter after the conclusion of the submissions by all parties.

The Court while keeping the order reserved on Stephen’s college petition also reserved the order on the PIL of the student, who had challenged the decision of St Stephen’s college to conduct an interview round for admission to the unreserved category for the academic session 2022-23. Both matters were heard by the bench together.

Recently in an affidavit filed in the matters, Delhi University stated that the National Educational Policy recommends to hold Common University Entrance Test (CUET) has to be uniformly accepted by St Stephen’s College.

The Delhi University further stated that the Law is well settled that aided “Minority Educational Institutions cannot admit students under the Unreserved Category as per its own whims and fancies.”

Meanwhile, Delhi University has also supported the petition of students and said that the college could not be allowed to bring “subjectivity bias and discrimination” through the conduct of interviews for students belonging to non-minority communities.

Earlier, Delhi HC had issued notice to all respondents in both matters.

The petitioner college has challenged the DU order to withdraw the prospectus issued by it and to grant admission through CUET. It is stated by the petitioner that they are conducting interviews of students seeking admission to the college. This practice has been there for so many years and it was allowed.

The PIL of the student had challenged the decision of St. Stephen’s college to conduct an interview round for admission to the unreserved category for the academic session 2022-23. The petition filed through Advocate Akash Vajpai stated that taking interviews where the award of marks is left to the subjective satisfaction of the selection committee gives ample room for discrimination and manipulation.

The PIL stated that 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.

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