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DU to admit disabled Ph.D candidate on Delhi HC's direction

  • The High Court of Delhi in Medhavi Krishna v. University of Delhi and Ors., has directed the Delhi University to grant admission to a man who is differently abled and further declared that the admission criteria adopted by the University is “unsustainable”. The court noted that the seats in the Ph.D course were still available, and that the selection process was still going on, Justice V. Kameswar Rao directed the University to grant admission to the petitioner, and also awarded costs of Rs. 10,000.

    The Court while hearing a petition filed by Mr. Medhavi Krishna, who had sought a direction to the University to grant him admission under the PWD (Persons with disability) category in the Ph.D programme of Department of Buddhist Studies University of Delhi.

    Mr. Krishna is suffering from 77 per cent disability in the lower limbs. He had registered for the Ph.D programme in May. At the time 14 seats were made available for the Ph.D programme in the Department. He was one among the 47 students who had cleared the written examination and were called for the interview. He was the only students under the PWD category to have qualified for the same. Post interview, twenty candidates were declared successful. However, no admission was granted under the PWD category.

    Aggrieved by the same, Mr. Krishna made representations before the DU Vice-Chancellor, OSD (Admissions and Research Council) and also the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Head of Department of Buddhist Studies, but could not avail any remedy. He then further approached the High Court, where he alleged discrimination on the ground that other candidates who scored similar marks in the interview were granted admission under other categories.

    Mr. Krishna also submitted that the University should not frustrate the provisions of Section 39 of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995. This Act mandates all Government educational institutions and other educational institutions receiving aid from the Government to reserve not less than three per cent seats for persons with disabilities. He had further contended that the minimum cut off marks could not have been fixed after the selection process had begun, as was the situation in the case at hand.

    The Court was then required to consider that whether the cut off marks of 70, as prescribed by the Selection Committee, was reasonable and justified. Accepting the contentions put forth by the petitioner, it ruled that fixing of 70 marks as the cut off for the PWD category was “without any basis/logic.”


    OUR TAKE

    Giving a disabled person equal rights and importance in every walks of life like job and education as that given to a normal individual of our nation has been one foremost concern of the Government lately and therefore Court decisions like this are only encouraging step towards it.


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