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'Approaching A Writ Court For A Moot Court Competition Is A Bit Too Much', Delhi HC Denies Plea Seeking Transparency in NLU-D's Moot Court Competition

Karan Tripathi
19 Oct 2020 11:00 AM GMT
Approaching A Writ Court For A Moot Court Competition Is A Bit Too Much, Delhi HC Denies Plea Seeking Transparency in NLU-Ds Moot Court Competition
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Delhi High Court has refused to provide relief in a plea seeking a direction upon the Moot Court Organizing Committee of NLU-D, to release the marks obtained by the Petitioners in the memorial round of the 70th Constitution Day Moot Court Competition. While rejecting the plea, the Single Bench of Justice Jayant Nath noted that the Petitioners are not personally prejudiced and they had...

Delhi High Court has refused to provide relief in a plea seeking a direction upon the Moot Court Organizing Committee of NLU-D, to release the marks obtained by the Petitioners in the memorial round of the 70th Constitution Day Moot Court Competition.

While rejecting the plea, the Single Bench of Justice Jayant Nath noted that the Petitioners are not personally prejudiced and they had no reason to approach a writ court for a loss in moot court competition.

The Petitioners are students of University Law College (ULC), Utkal University, Bhubaneshwar namely, Debashish Kumar Panda, Deep Kumar Mohanty and Dinesh Kumar Samanta, who had participated as a team in the National Moot Court Competition organized by NLU Delhi.

As per the facts averred in the plea filed through Advocate Satya Ranjan Swain, whereas the Petitioners were first informed that they have been selected for the oral round however later, the University intimated that there had been some error with respect to the scores and that Petitioners herein were not shortlisted in the final list.

It was alleged that despite seeking clarification from the University with regard to sudden disqualification of the Petitioners' team and requesting it to disclose the marks obtained, the Petitioners received no response from the Organizing Committee or other concerned authorities whatsoever.

The Petitioners contended that the University failed to give cogent reasons for disqualifying them and merely stated that '...it is not known whether it was a human or a technological error'.

They submitted,

"The Respondents No. 1-4 have failed to give cogent reasons for disqualifying the Petitioners and the exact reason for disqualification instead they have chosen to reject the Petitioners team arbitrarily by simply mentioning that it is human or technological error, meaning thereby that even the Respondents No. 1-4 are unaware of the reasons for rejecting the Petitioners."

It was further submitted that the Petitioners should be permitted to at least participate in the oral round as, "There was no error on part of the Petitioners. They acted with due care. They timely registered themselves and submitted the memorials on time. Since the Petitioners have registered and duly submitted the Moot Court memorials on time as per the rules of the Moot Court Competition, the Petitioners have the right to know the marks obtained by them in such memorials."

The Petitioners alleged that the action and inaction of the Organizing Committee and other concerned authorities (the Vice-Chancellor and the Registrar) of the University are violative of principles of natural justice.

"The theme of this Moot Court Competition is 'Kartavya' (Duty) and the Organizing Committee failed in their Kartavya/duty to maintain transparency. Non-disclosure of the marks obtained by the Petitioner gives an impression that the error is not a genuine one," they submitted.

They alleged that such lapses on the part of the conducting authority has resulted in mental agony and embarrassment and the non-disclosure of marks obtained by the petitioners team gives an impression that the error occurred is not a genuine one and invalidates the test of reasonableness under Article 14 of the Constitution of India.

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