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The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to stay a Delhi High Court order that directed St. Stephen’s College, a minority institution, to admit non-minority students on the sole basis of marks obtained in the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) and not through interviews.The court did not accept immediately the college’s contention that almost all reputable institutions across the world follow an interview-based admission policy.ADVERTISEMENT Following the Supreme Court’s refusal to grant the interim r...
The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to stay a Delhi High Court order that directed St. Stephen’s College, a minority institution, to admit non-minority students on the sole basis of marks obtained in the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) and not through interviews.
The court did not accept immediately the college’s contention that almost all reputable institutions across the world follow an interview-based admission policy.
Following the Supreme Court’s refusal to grant the interim relief, St. Stephen’s took down from its website the prospectus which was at the centre of a discord between the college and its governing entity, Delhi University (DU).
“We find no reason to stay the operation of the judgment. Application for interim relief is dismissed,” a bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and C.T. Ravi Kumar said in an order.
The special leave petition filed by the college has been posted for further hearing in March next year when the court will examine the DU policy vis-à-vis minority institutions.
St. Stephen’s had sought an interim stay on the September 12 order of the high court. That order had directed the institution to adhere to the DU policy that relies only on CUET scores for admitting non-minority candidates.
But St. Stephen’s now-dropped prospectus had said 85 per cent weightage would be given to the CUET score and 15 per cent to the interview for admitting non-minority candidates. The college reserves 50 per cent seats for Christians.
When the matter reached the high court, it upheld the DU contention that no exception can be made for St. Stephen’s as uniformity of the admission process had to be ensured. Aggrieved, the college had moved the apex court.
During the hearing on Wednesday, solicitor-general Tushar Mehta, appearing for DU, contended that if the St. Stephen’s plea was allowed, there would be a barrage of similar applications by other minority institutions. “No other minority college has questioned the policy but they will now do it,” Mehta said.
The bench remarked: “Let there be one standard for everyone. If uniformity is now being brought in, what is the relevance of interviews now?”
Mehta submitted that CUET was for common assessment, and the university was keen that only meritorious candidates were admitted.
However, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for St. Stephen’s College, referred to the National Education Policy of the central government, according to which merit should not be the basis for admissions.
He said the high court passed the order despite the college bringing to its notice the Centre’s new education policy that mandated interview-based selections.
Sibal added that the world over, universities conduct interviews to decide the admission of candidates. “So, what is the objection when all foreign universities follow the method of interviews?” Sibal asked.
He added that the interview process was meant for all students, including those seeking admissions under the minority quota.
“But now the high court order says interview can only be for minority and rest of the admissions as per CUET. That is bad in law, not sustainable and per incuriam (an order passed on erroneous application of facts/ law),” Sibal said.
Mehta countered the argument, saying: “CUET is for common assessment…. We only want a merit system for the unserved category to be followed.”
Justice Rastogi then asked: “Why cannot it be purely merit-based even for reserved seats since the central government has allowed a 50 per cent Christian quota?”
The bench asked about the practice that had been followed by the college over the years.
Sibal said that for the past 40 years, the institution was following the process of interview for granting a 15 per cent weightage. Mehta said the CUET system was adopted to ensure parity for students of different boards.
The bench later passed the interim order, refusing to interfere with the high court order.
(Additional reporting from PTI)
New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday refused to stay the Delhi High Court order asking St. Stephen's College to follow the admission policy prescribed by the Delhi University under which it cannot hold interviews for non-minority students in undergraduate courses.A bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and C T Ravikumar said it was not inclined to interfere with the HC judgement, prompting the prestigious college to take down from its website a contentious prospectus which was at the centre of a discord between the college and its governin...
New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday refused to stay the Delhi High Court order asking St. Stephen's College to follow the admission policy prescribed by the Delhi University under which it cannot hold interviews for non-minority students in undergraduate courses.
A bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and C T Ravikumar said it was not inclined to interfere with the HC judgement, prompting the prestigious college to take down from its website a contentious prospectus which was at the centre of a discord between the college and its governing Delhi University.
"We find no reason to stay the judgement, therefore the application for interim relief is dismissed," the bench said.
The top court was hearing a plea of St Stephen's College against a Delhi High Court order which asked it to follow the admission policy of the Delhi University.
According to the prospectus, which was on the college website since May, 85 per cent weightage was to be given to the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) score and 15 per cent to interview, which was against the Delhi University's criteria that accorded 100 per cent weightage to the CUET and did not provide for an interview.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the college, said the interview process was applicable to all and not just non-minority students.
"Delhi High Court order says interview can only be for minority and rest as per Common University Entrance Test. That is bad in law and unsustainable," he asserted.
The senior lawyer said the college has, for the last 40 years, given 15 per cent weightage to interview for admission against unreserved seats.
Sibal also referred to the New Education Policy (NEP) of the government and said marks should not be the criteria for admission in colleges.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Delhi University, submitted imposing a stay on the high court order will have a detrimental effect on the academic environment.
Mehta contended the CUET has been introduced with a view to having a common standard of assessment and there is no requirement of a separate interview by the college.
The Delhi High Court had on September 12 asked the Christian minority institution to follow the admission policy formulated by the Delhi University according to which 100 per cent weightage has to be given to the CUET-2022 score while granting admission to non-minority students in its undergraduate courses.
The high court had said the college cannot conduct interviews for non-minority category students and admissions should be as per the CUET score alone.
The high court had also said the rights accorded to a minority institution under the Constitution cannot be extended to non-minorities.
It had said the college has the authority to conduct interviews, in addition to the CUET score, for admitting Christian students but it cannot force non-minority candidates to additionally appear for an interview.
The HC bench, while asking the college to withdraw its prospectus giving 15 per cent weightage to interview for admission against unreserved seats, besides taking into consideration the CUET score of a candidate, had, however, ruled the DU "cannot insist upon a single merit list for admission of candidates belonging to the Christian community regardless of denomination, etc".
The high court's order had come on petitions filed by a law student and the college with respect to the legality of the procedure for admission of students against unreserved non-minority seats for UG courses.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a plea by St Stephen’s College to suspend a judgment which restrained the college from conducting interviews for non-minority students in addition to considering their Common University Entrance Test (CUET) scoresThe Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a plea by St Stephen’s College to suspend a judgment which restrained the college from conducting interviews for non-minority students in addition to considering their Common University Entrance Test (CUET) scores.The bench s...
The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a plea by St Stephen’s College to suspend a judgment which restrained the college from conducting interviews for non-minority students in addition to considering their Common University Entrance Test (CUET) scores.
The bench said that substantial questions of law pertaining to rights of a minority institution with respect to admitting students of their choice can be examined at a later stage, but there is no valid ground to stay the operation of the high court judgment.
“We find no reason to stay the impugned judgement (of the Delhi high court). The application for interim relief is dismissed,” ordered a bench of justices Ajay Rastogi and CT Ravikumar.
“The action to be taken pursuant to admission process shall be subject to the final outcome of the petition,” added the bench in its order, asking the lawyers for both sides to submit legal issues that would require deliberation when the matter is heard at length.
St Stephen’s college challenged in the Supreme Court a September 12 Delhi high court order that asked it to follow Delhi University’s admission policy and take in undergraduate students in the non-minority category solely on the basis of CUET scores. The college, however, wanted to also conduct interviews for the students from the general category. The high court, however, gave the college a liberty to conduct interviews for the Christian students, if it so desired.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the college, bore down that right to administer a minority institution under Article 30 of the Constitution shall include the right to admit students of its choice. He cited the landmark Supreme Court ruling in the TMA Pai case (YEAR) to argue that a minority institution cannot be denuded of its choice through regulation because that would take away the constitutional right under Article 30.
“We are not discarding merit at all. We will draw the students from CUET pool only but after that, the college must get to exercise its discretion as to who it should select... Merit cannot correlate only to marks or we don’t have a choice as a minority institution to select our students,” contended Sibal, adding interviews are conducted to assess compatibility and temperament of the candidates.
Countering his submissions, solicitor general Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Delhi University, argued that the entire purpose of CUET to have uniformity will be frustrated if one particular college (St Stephen’s) is allowed to have interviews in addition to CUET scores. Mehta added that it will be detrimental to meritorious students who would be eliminated due to less scores in interviews although they would have scored high in CUET.
Representing the University Grants Commission (UGC), additional solicitor general Vikramjeet Banerjee pointed out that it had always been in favour of completely doing away with the process of interview for all students, including minority students, to bring about absolute uniformity in the admission process throughout the country.
At one point during the proceedings, the bench wondered if different admission criteria for minority and non-minority students should operate for the same institution and whether DU should have allowed St Stephen’s to have interviews for minority students.
“If you trust their discretion and a leeway of 15% can be given to them for minority students, why can’t the same discretion be given to them for non-minority students? Why to have two standards?” the bench asked SG, who retorted that DU is willing to issue an order on removing the criteria of interview completely.
St Stephen’s has been fighting DU over the admission process following the university’s order to all affiliated colleges to take in students on the basis of CUET scores alone. At St Stephen’s, half the seats are reserved for Christians.
The college has been insisting on giving 85% cent weightage to CUET scores and 15% to its own interview of non-Christian applicants, citing its minority institution status to assert its right to take such decisions independently.
However, through its September order, the Delhi high court ordered the college to issue a fresh prospectus giving 100% weightage to CUET scores while admitting non-minority students to undergraduate courses.
The special rights of the minority institutions cannot be extended to their non-minority students, the high court had emphasised in its order while adding that the college is still free to conduct interviews in addition to the CUET for the admission of students belonging to the minority community.
ST. STEPHEN, S.C. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District, in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, recently hosted the 8th annual Wounded Warriors and Veterans fishing day at the Cooper River Rediversion Dam in St. Stephen.Canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and held with limited participation with safety measures in 2021, the event returned this year in full force. Sixty individuals participated in this year’s event, which was open to all veterans, even those with di...
ST. STEPHEN, S.C. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District, in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, recently hosted the 8th annual Wounded Warriors and Veterans fishing day at the Cooper River Rediversion Dam in St. Stephen.
Canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and held with limited participation with safety measures in 2021, the event returned this year in full force. Sixty individuals participated in this year’s event, which was open to all veterans, even those with disabilities and needing mobility assistance.
“Despite being rescheduled at the last minute due to weather, this year’s event was a great success,” said Jesse Helton, a natural resources program specialist at Charleston District who helps plan the yearly event. “We are looking forward to next year’s event and hope to continue to increase the turn out. Giving our wounded warriors, veterans and active-duty military a chance to have a great day fishing and visiting with each other is what this event is all about.”
The event would not be possible without the assistance of the DNR, who allows the fishing to occur in a protected wildlife area once a year.
“As always, I would like to express our appreciation to the DNR,” said Helton. “Without their support planning the event and working with the participants on the day of the event, we would not be able to make it happen.”
The event was also a chance for DNR to collect age data and health information on some of the fish that were caught. This data will provide important information about the American shad population that will be used to inform fisheries management decisions for the species.
Unlike other districts in USACE, Charleston District does not operate any official recreation sites. However, the property in St. Stephen has been used unofficially for years as a recreation site in South Carolina and has hosted many events.
The Corps proposed the CRRP in the early 1970’s to reduce sedimentation and dredging costs in Charleston Harbor. Construction began in 1978 and was completed in March 1985. This project saves taxpayers $36 million per year in dredging costs in Charleston Harbor, while benefitting shipping, industrial development, hydropower, and fish and wildlife.
Since the dam blocked fish from being able to swim upriver to spawning grounds, a fish lift was built to move the fish to the other side of the dam. Up to 750,000 fish pass through the fish lift per year. The fish lift is operated by SCDNR during the spawning season, which is usually from February 1 through May 15, depending on flows and water temperature.
The annual fishing day is not the only event hosted by USACE and DNR. In the fall, the agencies host an annual dove hunt, which occurs just down the street from the dam and is also held exclusively for veterans.
Photo : TwitterSupreme Court of India will be hearing the plea filed by St Stephen’s College challenging the order issued by the Delhi High Court regarding Delhi University’s Admission policy for the session of 2022 to 2023. As per repor...
Photo : Twitter
Supreme Court of India will be hearing the plea filed by St Stephen’s College challenging the order issued by the Delhi High Court regarding Delhi University’s Admission policy for the session of 2022 to 2023. As per reports, St Stephen’s has filed a petition challenging the HC's order to seek for interim relief for DU’s 100 percent CUET admission policy.
The matter will be heard by Justices Ajay Rastogi and CT Ravikumar, as per the instructions delivered by Chief Justice of India, CJI U.U. Lalit. Justices Sanjay Kaul and KM Joseph were also expected to be part of this bench, however, both the SC Judges recused themselves from hearing the plea filed by St Stephen’s College.
Justice Sanjay Kaul recused himself from the matter as he is an alumni of St Stephen’s College and Justice Joseph recused himself due to an apprehension that the briefs he heard as an advocate would be prejudicial to the case.
St Stephen's College decided to move to the Supreme Court to challenge the order passed by the Delhi High Court on September 12, 2022. Delhi HC had asked the Christian minority institute to withdraw its prospectus for undergraduate admissions and admit non-minority students solely based on CUET UG Scores.
St Stephen's College has been in a long tussle with Delhi University regarding the admission policy. As per the prospectus issued by Stephen's, the admission for non-minority would be done on the basis of 85 percent weightage for CUET UG scores and 15 percent for interviews.
However, Delhi University had instructed all DU affiliated colleges to admit students and give 100 percent weightage to CUET scores. However, St Stephen's decided to go ahead with interviews as well. The matter will now be heard by the apex court of India.