Delhi High Court slams DU for “serious lapse” in awarding gold medal

The Delhi High Court has slammed Delhi University for committing a “serious lapse” in preparation of the list to award gold medal in Sociology and directed it to give the gold medal to a former student who had secured the highest marks.

Justice Rekha Palli directed the Delhi University to immediately award the “Kunda Datar Gold Medal” to its 2012-2014 batch student Pratichi Majumdar, who had scored 999 out of 1,600 marks.

The High Court said the varsity has failed to discharge its duties by depriving a meritorious student like the petitioner of the gold medal which she deserved.

It also rejected the submission that Majumdar was not entitled to any relief as she has taken an “inordinate” time of eight months in approaching them to point out the error committed by the varsity.

“In my considered opinion, the said objection is wholly merit less in view of the facts of the present case, which reveals that the time of eight months taken by the petitioner to approach the Respondents for the necessary correction cannot be treated as laches on her part.

“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,” the judge said.

Majumdar was a student of Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University, who had passed the MA (Sociology) course from the Department of Sociology in August 2014.

In her plea, she contended that the result of the 2014 MA (Sociology) was initially declared on June 2, 2014, in which one Sophia Zehra Abbas was declared to have secured 977 out of 1,600 marks.

The results of Majumdar and many other students were shown as Result Later’.

Subsequently, on August 6, 2014, the remaining list of students of the same batch was released, in which Majumdar was declared to have secured 999 out of 1,600 marks.

As per the results, Majumdar scored the highest marks. But on February 23, 2015, the varsity circulated a Provisional Merit List which did not include Majumdar’s name. When the annual convocation of DU was held on May 30, 2015, the gold medal for MA (Sociology) was awarded to Abbas, who was actually the 4th rank holder.

Aggrieved by this, Majumdar made various representations not only to the Deputy Controller of Examination, but also to the Vice Chancellor of Delhi University, but to no avail.

The petition also contended that later, a letter was received by the petitioner’s father from the Dean (Examination), Delhi University informing him that the names of the awardees had been published on the official website of the varsity on May 20, 2015 and, since no objection or representation of any kind had been received from the department or from any other student, the University was fully justified in awarding the Gold Medal to Abbas.

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