Delhi HC to hear JMC’s plea against absolute weightage to CUET score for minorities on May 24

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court said on Tuesday that it will hear on May 24 a plea filed by the Jesus and Mary College (JMC) contesting a Delhi University (DU) notification regarding the admission of undergraduate and graduate students under the minority quota purely based on the results of the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) and without any interview for the academic year 2023.

A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad had on April 27 issued notice on a similar plea by St. Stephen’s College, which is also coming up for hearing on May 24.

The plea challenges the decision of DU’s Executive Council dated December 8, 2022 and a notification issued on December 30, 2022, as being ultra vires and unconstitutional.

Appearing for JMC, advocate Romy Chacko argued that DU cannot interfere with or take away this minority educational institution’s right to select students for admission and administer educational institution under the Constitution.

“The Delhi University has now resolved that for admissions during the current academic year (2023), even with regard to 50 per cent Christian quota, admission shall be only on the basis of CUET score and no interview, and addition of 15 per cent marks for interview will be permitted,” the plea said.

The plea makes reference to a high court ruling dated September 12, 2022 in the St. Stephens College’s case allowing it to conduct interviews in addition to the CUET score for admission of students from minority communities.

The plea submitted that the varsity’s order suffers from “total non-application of mind”.

It said this year, the university has taken a decision to deprive the minority institutions of the opportunity of interviewing candidates to be admitted under the minority quota which constrained the petitioner to challenge the notification owing to its minority status and rights under Article 30 (1) of the Constitution.

St. Stephens College’s plea was filed against DU’s statement that admission to 50 per cent of the Christian quota seats would only be based on CUET score, with no interviews and the addition of 15 per cent marks for interviews being allowed in the academic session of 2023.

“The right of the petitioner to conduct interviews and accord to them 15 per cent weightage for the purposes of admitting students does not extend to non-minority students, and solely pertains to its minority students,” the court had said.

In light of this context, the plea made the case that the right to select students for admission is the core of the right to establish and administer educational institution which cannot be interfered with or taken away.

A declaration was also sought that the decision of the DU insisting on 100 per cent weightage for CUET score for admission to minority quota is against Article 30 of the Constitution.


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