Admission interviews for minority students at JMC, St Stephen’s get Delhi HC nod | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Admission interviews for minority students at JMC, St Stephen’s get Delhi HC nod

Jul 27, 2023 11:25 PM IST

The decision, dated July 21 but released on Thursday, essentially reiterated an order the same court passed in September last year

The Delhi high court has allowed St Stephen’s College and Jesus and Mary College (JMC) to interview Christian candidates seeking admission under the minority quota, but stressed that the institutions must give significant weightage to the students’ Common University Entrance Test (CUET) scores.

The bench permitted the two colleges to admit Christian minority students with an 85% weightage on a candidates’ CUET score and 15% weightage on interviews. (HT Archive)
The bench permitted the two colleges to admit Christian minority students with an 85% weightage on a candidates’ CUET score and 15% weightage on interviews. (HT Archive)

The decision, dated July 21 but released on Thursday, essentially reiterated an order the same court passed in September last year.

The bench of chief justice Satish Chandra Sharma and justice Subramonium Prasad in the latest order said the arrangement will be an interim measure, adding that admissions to the two colleges will eventually be subject to the final outcome of a bunch of petitions that have challenged Delhi University’s (DU) order making CUET scores the only basis for admissions even under minority quotas.

“The admissions made in the college would be subject to the final outcome of the instant writ petitions,” the court said.

The court’s interim order came after petitions from the two colleges — both minority institutions, affiliated with DU — asking for a stay on the university’s December 8, 2022 decision.

The bench permitted the two colleges to admit Christian minority students with an 85% weightage on a candidates’ CUET score and 15% weightage on interviews. It, however, clarified that the university will only consider CUET results to determine admissions for non-minority students.

The court said that it had, in its September 12, 2022 order, already discussed the extent to which DU can regulate minority students’ admissions and ruled that St Stephen’s has the right to conduct interviews — with 15% weightage — for such applicants.

Jesus & Mary College had approached the high court over the December 2022 notification on May 23 this year.

The high court, in its fresh order, also pulled up DU and said there is “prima facie a complete lack of reasoning” as to why the institution gave its earlier ruling “a go-by”. “It indicates non-application of mind on their part while making the impugned decision,” the court said, referring to DU’s December order.

Admitting the petitions, the court opined that the colleges would suffer an irreparable loss if they are not granted interim relief at this stage. “Accordingly, as an interim measure, this court directs that the admission policy as framed by this court vide judgment dated September 12, 2022 shall be followed for the academic year 2023- 24,” the court said.

Delhi University started using CUET scores to determine admissions last year. The central university and St Stephen’s have, since then, been involved in a protracted tussle over the admission process to the minority institution.

Till 2021, the DU undergraduate admission process relied on Class 12 board exams scores. In St Stephen’s College, however, the process was relied on the board examination results, followed by a written test and an interview.

In May last year, St Stephen’s College released a prospectus, declaring 85% weightage to CUET scores and 15% to interviews for all students seeking admissions to the institution’s unreserved seats in undergraduate courses. The college in September 2022 moved the high court after DU told St Stephen’s to withdraw the prospectus.

Later that month, the high court held that the rights accorded to a minority institution under the Constitution cannot be extended to non-minorities, and directed St Stephen’s to give 100% weightage to CUET scores while granting admission to non-minority students. It, however, said the college has the authority to conduct interviews for admitting students belonging to the minority community.

An appeal by St Stephen’s against this ruling is currently pending in the Supreme Court.

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