The Delhi High Court has extended the deadline for the submission of thesis for students of Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences (MAIDS) till September 30, subject to payment of late fee in tune of ₹5,000.
The Single Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh has, however, clarified that those students who are capable of submitting their thesis by 31st July, 2020 would be permitted to do so without any late fee payment.
The order has come in a writ petition moved by the students of MAIDS challenging the advancement of date for the submission of thesis to June 30 without any proper intimation to the students.
The Petitioner has submitted that as per the amended Ordinance which was notified on October 18, 2019, the deadline for submission of thesis is 15th October, 2020, extendable up to two weeks.
However, the Petitioners were recently informed by the University that the new date for the submission of thesis is June 30, 2020, extendable till July 31 with late fee.
Therefore, the Petitioners submitted that this new date is completely arbitrary as students were not informed of the advancement of the date for submission in time.
Further , it was argued that fixing such a deadline for submission of a thesis at such short notice especially during a pandemic has created panic amongst the students.
Mr Mohinder Rupal, who appeared for the Delhi University, submitted that the extended deadline of 30th October, 2020 was never intimated to the students as the Board of Research Studies had not approved it.
MAIDS, on the other hand, informed the court that there was a lot of confusion regarding the applicability of the amended Ordinance. It was only on 4th July, that MAIDS received an email from the Delhi University stating that the deadline for submission of thesis would not be October 30, but it would be June 30 extendable till July 31 with late fee.
At this stage, Petitioners' counsel Mr Sarthak Maggon submitted that the BRS has no power to amend the resolution of the Executive Council.
At the outset, the court observed that there's no document placed on record to show that DU had communicated the Minutes of Meeting of the BRS to MAIDS for onward communication to the students.
The court also observed that MAIDS and MAMC are two separate institutions and MAIDS did not participate in the meeting of the BRS.
The court noted that:
'Neither DU nor MAIDS have been able to place on record proper documents to establish as to when the colleges and students were notified of the various changes in deadlines for submission of thesis. Thus, one thing is clear that the last date for submission of thesis has been muddled up and confusion has been created in the minds of students.'
Therefore, in light of the lockdown and the stress on all medical colleges and institutions and also considering that the original Executive Council's amendment had extended the time till 15th October, 2020, the court decided to grant extension of time for submission of thesis till 30th September, 2020, subject to payment of late fees in tune of ₹5,000.
The court further clarified that those Petitioners who are capable of submitting their thesis by 31st July, 2020 would be permitted to do so without any late fee payment.
While passing this order, the court highlighted that:
'Considering that there is enormous mis-communication between the authorities and the circulars were not adequately circulated amongst the students, this relief is being granted at the prima facie stage. The same shall not be considered as an opinion on merits either regarding the powers of the Executive Council and the BRS or as to the genuinity and validity of the BRS minutes, which issues shall be considered at the stage of final adjudication of the writ petition.'
The court will next take up this matter on September 09.
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