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Courts Cannot Lower The Cut-Off Set By Colleges For Seats Reserved Under Disability Quota: Delhi HC [Read Judgment]

Karan Tripathi
24 July 2019 12:42 PM GMT
Courts Cannot Lower The Cut-Off Set By Colleges For Seats Reserved Under Disability Quota: Delhi HC [Read Judgment]
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Delhi High Court has held that the court cannot interfere with the cut-off set by colleges for seats reserved for persons with disabilities. The court, however, did acknowledge the claim that persons with intellectual disability shall be treated differently from persons with locomotor disability while setting the cut-offs.

The petitioner who was medical proven to be suffering from dyslexia wanted to get admission in either Sri Gobind Singh College of Commerce or Kirori Mal College as he was unable to travel long distances and heavily relied upon the constant support of his family. However, he had scored 43.7% in his class XII board exams which was substantially lower than the cut-off set up by both the colleges for seats reserved for PwD as per section 32 of the RPWD Act.

The respondent College had argued that process of fixing of cut-offs was very scientific and the cut-offs were gradually lowered for all categories, to accommodate the required number of category of candidates suffering from disabilities within the meaning of the RPWD Act. Excessive lowering of the cut-off, it is contended, would result in over admissions.

The Petitioner, on the other hand, had contended that the respondent College failed to discharge its duties under section 32 and 34 of RPWD Act as a special condition of the Petitioner was not accommodated while making provisions for admissions. It was also argued that putting the same cut-off for both the persons suffering from intellectual disability and those suffering from locomotor disability is arbitrary, and hence, violates Article 14 of the Constitution.

The Single Bench of Justice Hari Shankar did acknowledge the claim that there is, indeed, a qualitative distinction, between students who suffer from intellectual disabilities, and students suffering from other categories of disabilities and if, while fixing cut-offs for admission to the college, this distinction is lost sight of, the decision to fix cut-offs may itself become perilously towards vincible to being classified as arbitrary. However, there's no mandate under the RPWD Act to put a lower cut-off for persons suffering from intellectual disability.

While refusing to issue Mandamus in the present matter, the court noted that writs cannot be issued, by any court governed by the rule of law, solely on the basis of sympathy or compassion. Compassion must always temper, but may never substitute, justice which, in its turn, cannot be administered, by a court, in a manner which would derogate from the law as it exists.

On the question of whether section 32 of RPWD Act contemplates 5% reservation to be set course-wise, the court observed that no such stipulation can be found in any of the guidelines issued under the said Act.Therefore, the court refused to grant relief to the Petitioner. It opined that it would be for the University, or Colleges, and not the courts, to fix cut-offs, for the admission of dyslexics and with persons suffering from intellectual or learning disabilities, at inappropriate or realistic level, so that they are able to secure admission and pursue their studies. 

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[Read Judgment]

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