Error in Merit List Leading to Cancellation of Admissions of Innocent Students Invalid: Delhi HC
The Delhi High Court clubbing two writ petitions pertaining to the same matter in Yatendra Singh Vs Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education and Sports Sciences (IGIPESS) & Anr and Vivek Vats Vs Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education and Sports Sciences & Anr., held that the petitioners should not suffer owing to the respondent institutes fallacious merit list and were entitled to continue their course without any disturbance.
The Single Judge bench of Justice Prateek Jalan, observed:
“They had already commenced classes when their admissions were cancelled. The cancellation of the admissions was not preceded by any notice to the petitioners. Indeed, they may not have had much to say as the action was predicated not upon any default on their part, but upon an error at the University’s end. The petitioners have been studying in the B.Sc. course since, and factually, there are vacancies against which they can be accommodated.”
The petitioners applied for admission in the B.Sc. (Physical Education, Health Education and Sports) course in the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category for the year 2020-21. They participated in the University’s Entrance Test and after receiving their ranks, submitted the required documents, paid the fees and started attending online classes. However, it was later discovered that the admission committee of the college found some error in the merit list published by the institute. After a meeting of the committee, it was concluded that IGIPESS had committed the error, and as a result, some students were erroneously admitted. It was held that the admission of such applicants was to be cancelled and a new admissions list was released.
The petitioners realized that their admissions were cancelled only when their names did not appear in the new list. Aggrieved, the petitioners submitted before the Court that the cancellation of the admission was on grounds that were in no way attributable to them. They pleaded that their candidature should not be disturbed and that they should be accommodated against the vacant seats available in the course.
The respondents, on the other hand, provided that the petitioners were not entitled to the relief while claiming that they had not qualified on merit and were thus not eligible for admission. The ranks of the petitioners 1 and 2 were 569 and 523 respectively, and not 111 and 95 as originally computed.
Examining the above facts, the honourable court held that,
“Based on the aforesaid judgments, the relief sought by the petitioners is merited. In fact, as noted above, the Supreme Court granted relief to the petitioners in those cases even though they were ineligible for admission. To that extent, the present petitioners stand on a better footing. There is no grievance as to their eligibility. They have not been accused of any wrongdoing. As far as they are concerned, they were admitted in due course and started attending classes. Today, there are vacancies against which they can be adjusted for the year in which they took admission. Due to the lapse of time, the University will also not be able to take admissions to the vacant seats even if the petitioners are denied the relief sought.”
The writ petitions were therefore allowed, to the extent that the respondents were directed to permit the petitioners to continue with the programme enrolled for.
Nidhi Nair | Research Intern | EduLegaL
Swapna Iyer | Legal Editor | EduLegaL