Delhi University Slammed For Laches In Granting Gold Medals By Delhi High Court

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One of the oldest educational institutes in the country has been slammed by the Delhi High Court for a major lapse in accolading a student with a gold medal in Sociology.

Facts Of The Case

Majumdar a student of Delhi School of Economics completed her MA(Sociology) from Department of Sociology in August 2014. In a writ petition filed by her, she submitted that result of the 2014 MA (Sociology) was initially declared on 2 June 2014, according to which one Sophia Zehra Abbas has scored 977 marks out of 1,600 marks. In the same list, the result of a lot of other students including Majumdar was shown as result later. Afterwards on 6th August 2014 result of remaining students of the same batch was declared by way of which Majumdar was declared to have secured 999 marks out of 1,600. As per the results, Majumdar had scored the highest marks but on 23rd February 2015 provisional list circulated by varsity did not include Majumdar’s name. In the annual convocation of DU, gold medal for Sociology was awarded to Abbas, who was actually the 4th rank holder.

Feeling wronged by this decision of the university, Majumdar made various representation to the authorities of Delhi University which included not only the Deputy Controller of Examination but also the Vice Chancellor of Delhi University. Her voice fell on deaf ears and she could not get any relief. Petition further contended that Majumdar’s father received a letter from Dean (Examination), Delhi University informing him that the name of awardees had been published on the official website of the varsity and since no objection or representation of any kind had been received from the department or from any other student, the University is justified in awarding the gold medal to Abbas.

The Decision Of The Court

After listening to both the sides and examining the evidence presented, Justice Rekha Palli instructed Delhi University to award the Kunda Datar Gold Medal for 2012-2014 batch to Pratichi Majumdar who had obtained 999 marks out of 1,600. Her score was the highest score in her batch. Counsel on behalf of Delhi University objected that Majumdar took an exorbitant time of eight months in approaching the court to highlight the errors of the university and this barred her from obtaining any relief. Court answering to the argument of respondents said that objection is wholly meritless and delay of eight months cannot be treated as laches on part of petitioner. The judge further said that

“Even otherwise, the respondents, having failed to discharge their duties in the manner expected of them, a meritorious student like the petitioner cannot be deprived of the Gold Medal which she deserves. For the aforesaid reasons, the writ petition is allowed and respondents (DU and others) are directed to immediately award the Kunda Datar Gold Medal to the petitioner,”

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