Delhi High Court Stays NLU Delhi’s 50% Reservation for Delhi Students

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A Division Bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad stayed the decision of reservation in the case of Pia Singh v. NLU Delhi.

Brief Facts of the Case

A writ petition was filed in Delhi HC by a 24-year-old student, Pia Singh. She belonged to the General/Unserved category. She was also a permanent resident of Delhi. The petitioner aspired to pursue her LL.M. from NLU Delhi. But the reservation policy affected her chances of selection and future career prospects.

This petition was filed against the reservation policy opted by the NLU, Delhi. In her petition, she sought quashing of the provision of a 50% reservation to students who passed their qualifying exam from an institute located in Delhi. She submitted that this reservation policy was against the constitutional mandate under Art. 15(3). Also is also against all reasonable and logical norms.

The petitioner submitted that there was no object behind this classification. Furthermore, providing a 22% reservation to OBC and a 10% reservation to the EWS category without increasing the total number of seats was also unconstitutional. At the same time, it was against the mandate of guidelines issued by MHRD.

On 02.03.2020 the respondent released an e-prospectus for the UG and PG courses for the Academic year 2020-21. The last date for the submission of the application was 15th May 2020.

The Petitioner said that, “It is apparent by analyzing seat matrix of both academic year that in the previous year seats for unreserved category was 64 but in this academic year only 30 seats were notified for unreserved category. Hence, NLU Delhi has grossly violated the guidelines issued by MHRD and reservation for OBC & EWS were implemented without increasing the seats.”

The Decision of the Last Hearing

The same Division Bench was hearing the petition filed by three NLU Delhi students. This was filed against the same reservation policy. In the case of Balvinder Sangwan and Ors. vs GNCT of Delhi and Ors., the Delhi Government had argued that NLU Delhi was not a Central University or a National Institute of Excellence. It was only a State University which came into existence on the basis of the Act enacted by the Delhi legislature.

The Delhi Government also stated that the reservation policy was in accordance with the NLU Delhi statute. It was in consonance with Article 41 of the Constitution. It was also protected by several judgments of the Supreme Court.

Court’s Order

The Court observed that the petitioners challenging the reservation had made a prima facie case for a stay on the move. The Court stayed on the decision of NLU Delhi introducing
250% horizontal reservation. The Court ordered the University to maintain the status quo of admission w.r.t. to LLB and LLM admissions. The Court further directed NLU Delhi to issue
a fresh admission notification on or before July 2. One week’s period was also granted for students to apply for the same if interested.

The matter is enlisted on August 18.


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