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Sandesh Jha & Ors. vs. University Of Delhi & Ors. - (High Court of Delhi) (07 Oct 2020)

Belated challenge cannot be entertained by present Court with regard to applicability of Notification



The Petitioners in the present case are studying in their fifth semester of the LLB course, in the Faculty of Law, University of Delhi ('DU'). They have challenged the impugned Notification dated 22nd August, 2017 and a notice dated 9th October, 2017, by which the method of conducting supplementary examinations has been changed for the final year students. It is the grievance of the Petitioners that they had taken admission in the Faculty of Law, DU in 2017, and the notifications which were issued on 22nd August, 2017 and 9th October, 2017 cannot be applied retrospectively.

The issues raised are no longer res integra. The primary grievance of the Petitioners is that, the method of conduct of the supplementary examinations has been changed by the DU in August 2017 while they had taken admission in July 2017. It is urged that, the method prevalent since 2014 ought to be applied to them as they were already admitted by the time the impugned Notifications were issued.

The question as to the retrospective application of these notifications has been dealt with, in detail, in the case of Vikas Bhaskar vs. University of Delhi and Anr. by a learned Single Judge of this Court. The court has, while considering writ petitions filed by students who had taken admissions in 2014, held that the impugned notifications would apply from the academic year 2017-18. In the last paragraph of the said judgment, the Court observes that, students who have taken admission ‘after the academic year 2016-17’, had adequate notice and ample opportunity to plan their academic and examination schedules as per the changed rules regarding supplementary examinations.

Admittedly, the present students have been studying in the faculty of Law since July, 2017, and have entered their fifth/ sixth semester. They have been well aware of the notifications and the rules for the conduct of the supplementary examinations which have been in effect for the last three years. The challenge has been raised only recently after they have entered the fifth semester. The time as to when the supplementary examinations is to be conducted is also clear from the perusal of the impugned notification dated 22th August, 2017 read with the impugned notice 9th October, 2017.

These very notifications have been considered by the learned Single Judge of this Court, who has clearly held that, the notifications would be applicable from the academic year 2017-18. The said judgment is squarely applicable to the facts of this case.

Insofar as the question of legitimate expectation is concerned, the students, since 2017, have already been informed as to the manner and method as well as the frequency of the conduct of the supplementary examinations. They have chosen to challenge the same now i.e., after three years, when they are in the final year i.e., fifth/sixth semester. Such a belated challenge cannot be entertained by this Court especially in view of the fact that the judgment in Vikas Bhaskar vs. University of Delhi and Anr. clearly lays down that, the impugned notifications would be applicable w.e.f. the academic year beginning 2017. The present petition are disposed of.


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