The Delhi High Court has asked the Delhi University to file a "proper reply" on the petition filed by final law year students of the Faculty of Law College, seeking permission to give their supplementary examinations for those exams which they have not passed in the first to fourth semesters.
Last month, the bench of Justice Prathiba M. Singh had issued notice to the University with a direction to file an affidavit explaining their policy for conducting supplementary examinations in terms of the notification dated August 22, 2018.
After hearing the Petitioners' counsel today, Senior Advocate Rajesh Tondon, Advocates Amit Kumar Sharma and Satyam Singh, that the University has not filed a proper reply, the bench has directed the University to file a fresh reply in the matter and clarify whether the impugned supplementary notification of 2017 was approved by the Bar Council of India.
The Petitioners had approached the High Court against the new scheme introduced by the University as per which a final year student, who has not cleared any examination from the first to fourth semesters, may appear for those examinations at the "regular examination" held at the end of each Term.
In simple words, the impugned notification has done away with the supplementary examinations for any back log paper immediately after the Semester VI examination and students are therefore required to appear in any backlog paper in December and May for odd and even semester examinations, respectively.
Agitating this change the Petitioners submitted,
"The rule as existed before the college notice, a candidate gets a chance to clear the backlogs in two supplementary exams after the sixth semester, if he or she is not able to clear them during the routine semestral exams, therefore the first supplementary exam is conducted in June for final year students having backlogs from first, third, and fifth semester, while the second supplementary exam is conducted in August or September to clear second, fourth and sixth semester (result for sixth semester having been announced in July).
However, vide the annexed notification the petitioner herein have been deprived of the aforementioned mentioned opportunity, to clear their respective backlog in the supplementary examinations as they were held each for odd ( first, third and fifth) and even (second fourth and sixth) semester respectively."
It is submitted that due to the impugned notification, the students will now have to wait for at least 6-7 months to appear in the exams and thereafter for another 3 months for the declaration of the result, thereby causing them to lose more than half of the year.
It is further contended that the impugned rule has a detrimental effect on the number of opportunities that are made available to the final year student to clear their backlog and pass the examination.
"Before the said notification a final year student had three opportunities in each year to clear their backlog: two opportunities per regular semester and one more opportunity per supplementary exam. However, due to the said impugned rule, the student now only is presented with two opportunities per semester by way of appearing alongside students who are appearing for their regular exam as an ex-student," the plea states.
It is the case of the Petitioners that the impugned notification cannot be applied to them as the said rule was notified after they had acquired admission to the University.
After notice was issued, DU had contended that the petition is not maintainable and suffers from "grave latches".
It was contended that the Petitioners cannot "overburden" the Faculty of Law by compelling it to hold separate supplementary exams for the failed students.
"The students cannot claim any vested right for seeking separate supplementary exams. The Petitioners cannot take advantage of their own wrong, by first not able to clear the exams in time and then seeking as a matter of right the Faculty of Law to hold separate supplementary exams for them," the Counter Affidavit stated.
They had submitted that it is for the Academic Bodies to decide as to the mode and scheme of examination. "The Petitioners cannot invoke the extra-ordinary original jurisdictions of this Hon'ble Court for seeking the reliefs as prayed for through the present writ petition."
The matter is now posted for hearing on September 10, 2020.
Click Here To Download June Order
Click Here To Download Petition
Click Here To Download Counter Affidavit