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Inability to meet the requirements in a prospectus can lead to disqualification of a candidate: Delhi High Court

If a candidate agrees to the terms and conditions mentioned in the prospectus of a particular institution before applying for admission into it, he/ she cannot seek concessions on the same. This remarkable judgement was passed by the single judge bench of the Delhi High Court, consisting of Justice Jayant Nath  in the matter of Injamam Ul Hossain V All India Institute Of Medical Science & Ors., [W.P.(C) 8593/2020].

The present petition was filed by an individual who was graduate in the B.Sc course and had given the entrance test in which he ranked 4th in the OBC Category, for M.Sc by virtue of which he was offered admission in AIIMS, Delhi.  The earlier date for submission of documents for procuring admission was 31.7.2020, which was extended by a month in light of delay caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic. The petitioner produced all documents demanded by the institution apart from his B.Sc passing certificate due to delay in his previous college in providing him with it. Due to his failure in submitting the document, AIIMS cancelled his admission and thus this petition. Further, the UGC had issued UGC Guidelines on Academic Calendar for the First Year of Under- Graduate and Post-Graduate Students of the Universities for the Session 2020- 21. As per the said guidelines where admissions are solely through entrance tests, the relevant documents of qualifying examination may be accepted upto 31.12.2020.

The respondent contended that AIIMS is an Institution of National importance as declared under Section 5 of the All India Medical Sciences Act being an Institution, established under Section 3 of AIIMS Act and is an autonomous body which is under the purview of the Central Government and that it is not liable to follow rules of the UGC.

On bare perusal of the facts and basic arguments put forward, the court opined that, “It has been strongly urged that the petitioners have qualified on merits in the entrance examination and should not be deprived of their right to get admission in the college in question on account of the failure of the Universities who are to give the qualifying certificates in declaring the results of the exams on account of the present pandemic. It has also been pointed out that AIIMS themselves have extended the time schedules. The last date for showing proof of having cleared the qualifying examination was 31.07.2020 which was extended to 31.08.2020”.

But, when the respondent relied on various judgements like Dr. Sandeep P.S. vs Government of India, [2020 SCC OnLine Mad 1263], Priyanka Chaudhary vs National Board of Examinations, [2016 SCC OnLine Del 5691] and National Board of Examinations vs. G. Anand Ramamurthy & Ors., [(2006) 5 SCC 515], the bench agreed to their contentions  and held that, “The terms of the prospectus would be binding on the candidates. The petitioners participated in the entrance examination and also participated in the counselling based on the terms of the prospectus and they cannot now turn around and seek concessions which are contrary to the terms of the prospectus. If the plea of the petitioners were to be accepted, then all the candidates who have not been able to submit their documents of having passed the qualifying degree as on 31.08.2020 would also have to be given the same relief. This would naturally cause confusion. In any case, the stipulations as noted above are reasonable and fair and cannot be termed to be arbitrary. There are no reasons to interfere in the procedure prescribed by the respondents. The respondent cannot accommodate to the schedules of all the universities in the country”.

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