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'There Seems To Be Complete Administrative Lethargy' : Delhi HC Pulls Up Delhi University Over Delay In Issuing Degree Certificates

Karan Tripathi
8 July 2020 3:12 PM GMT

While showing displeasure towards the lethargy shown by the Delhi University in issuing degree certificates to its students, the Delhi High Court has observed that there's a need for the University to streamline the said process with fixed timelines.

In light of the same, the Single Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh has directed the Delhi University to file an affidavit specifying the person (by designation) who would be in charge of issuing degree certificates and the manner in which the procedure would be expedited, in order to ensure that students are not inconvenienced.

The order has come in a writ petition moved by a student who graduated from the Delhi University in 2017 but is still unable to secure admission and scholarship in Universities in the UK due to non issuance of the degree certificate by the said University.

Following the order passed by the Court on June 6, the Dean of Examination, Professor Vinay Gupta appeared before the Court.

He submitted that the Petitioner could not be provided with his degree as the contract with the printer engaged by Delhi University for printing degrees came to an end and the same had to be re-tendered.

'Owing to the lockdown situation, there were very few bids received for the tender which delayed the process', Mr Gupta submitted.

While observing that the non-release of the degree certificate for three years has had an irreparable impact on Petitioner's further educational prospects, the court noted that the grant of degrees to students is being delayed due to unjustifiable reasons.

The court highlighted that non availability of paper and printing facilities cannot be a justifiable cause especially when the careers and educational prospects of students are at stake.

'Though no convocation is held, the issuance of degree certificates which ought to be a happy and memorable occasion has been turned into a laborious and burdensome process', the court said.

The court further emphasised that:

'The object and purpose of every University ought to be to attain `Educational excellence'. The same has to however be achieved with `Administrative certainty'. This case shows that there seems to be complete administrative lethargy on the part of all the authorities. First, there is no justification for not holding the convocation on an annual basis in the same year when the student passes out. It is unheard of that the convocation is itself held one year later. Secondly, there is no justification for the college not to send the data relating to the Universities immediately upon announcement of results of the final year students. Thirdly and finally, non-availability of printing facilities and paper is a completely derisory and inexcusable reason.'

The court further reiterated that the Delhi University ought to facilitate the process of obtaining degree certificates by students and should, in fact, provide all possible assistance to students who wish to pursue further education and career opportunities.

Therefore, the court also asked the DU to consider creation of a dedicated helpline manned by a responsible official for the purpose of issuance of degree certificates.

So far as the Petitioner is concerned, be is directed to collect his degree certificate from the Dean of Examination on July 09 at 3pm.

'If any further email or letter is needed for the Petitioner to satisfy the foreign University that the certificate being issued is genuine, the same shall also be written by the Dean, to ensure that the degree certificate being issued is accepted by the said University or other authorities', the court assured the Petitioner.

The Court has directed the University to submit an affidavit with following details :

i. Details of the Statutes/Regulations that govern the holding of convocations;

ii. The procedure adopted for holding of convocations and the frequency thereof;

iii. The procedures followed by colleges and the DU for collection of data and the timelines thereof; and

iv. The timeline for issuance of degree certificates after the Convocation is held.

The Petitioner in this case was represented by Mr Sarthak Maggon

Case Title: Dhritiman Ray v. University of Delhi

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