The Delhi High Court today asked Delhi University why should it be not held in contempt of court while hearing a petition challenging a Executive Council Resolution according to which the award of gold medals and prizes should be considered only for candidates who have passed the examination on the basis of original result declared by the University and not on the basis of result post-revaluation or improvement.
The high court made the oral remark when it took up a petition moved by Shivani Jindal and Abhishek Kumar Upadhyay through advocate Prashant Manchanda.
Shivani had topped in BSc (Botany) in the year 2017, scoring 3,254 out of 3,500 marks while Abhishek passed MA (Hindi Literature) with 1,096 out of 1,600 marks.
Not content with their scores, they both applied for revaluation. Shivani’s revaluated score as declared on September 6, 2017 was 3,273, while Abhishek’s revaluated score as declared in December last year was 1,108.
Both petitioners were declared toppers on February 15, 2018, on the Founders’ Day of the College.
However, they were shocked to learn that their names did not figure in the merit list issued by the Delhi University on October 11 containing the names of students entitled for the conferment of the awards and prizes including the University Medal, the Prof Savitri Sinha Smriti Swarna Padak, and the Maithili Sharan Gupta Puraskar, during the 95th annual convocation ceremony scheduled to be held on November 19, 2018.
Prof Savitri Sinha Smriti Swarna Padak is a medal awarded each year to a candidate who obtains the highest percentage of marks among the successful candidate at the M.A. Examination in Hindi (General), obtaining Ist division and Abhishek stakes claim on it while Shivani says her name should have been in the list for University Medal.
Manchanda said the petitioners raised the objection before the officials concerned of DU who said the decision was made in conformity with the EC Resolution of March, 2014, according to which marks scored upon revalulation will not be considered for the awards.
Thereafter, the varsity issued another merit list on October 20 which also did not have the names of the petitioners but of some other candidates who had also applied for revaluation.
Manchanda highlighted before the court how DU’s conduct was in clear violation of the high court order in case titled Kumar Saurabh Vs University of Delhi wherein in similar circumstances, the court had said, “If marks obtained upon re-evaluation are not taken into account, which implicitly amounts to acceptance of a situation that the examiner made a mistake in the first instance, it would lead to an absurd situation. More so, in a case where re-evaluation leads to enhancement of marks, in a given case. Similarly, failure to consider the marks obtained in improvement exams could lead to unfair consequences, as noticed in Nandita Narain's case.”
He said the conduct of the varisty “is against the backdrop that this Hon’ble Court in Kumar Saurabh Vs University of Delhi and Ors. has already lamented the respondents in almost similar case for taking shelter to the aforesaid irrational and arbitrary resolution, striking a cautionary note to the University to obliterate such events in future”.
With this, the high court today asked the counsel of the respondents to take instructions while asking orally why should the varsity be not held in contempt of court.
The counsel then sought time to take instructions and the bench fixed the matter for hearing on November 16.
The petitioners have also sought interim relief of stay of conferment of awards in the 95th Annual Convocation Ceremony on November 19.