HC: Admission prospectus terms binding on all parties

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The terms and conditions of prospectus for admission bind the parties, Delhi High Court said, while rejecting the claim of certain students to pursue higher courses at AIIMS for the academic year 2020-21.

The court dismissed several pleas of students who have sought admission in MSc and PhD courses of AIIMS, but did not clear the qualifying examination (graduation and postgraduation) conducted by the respective universities.

The students had argued that they appeared in the entrance examination, and after declaration of the result, found themselves on the merit list that would have entitled them to admission. However, they could not secure a seat as they did not clear the qualifying examination within the stipulated date.

The students had sought extension of the date for the qualifying examination in the wake of the pandemic. A bench comprising of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Justice Amit Bansal said, “There is no reason why the appellants (students) alone should be given the benefit of Covid-19 and not the others, who may be entitled to it.”

“There has to be a finality to admissions. The appellants participated in the admission process in terms of the prospectus published. As per the terms and conditions of such admission process, the appellants are not eligible for admission,” the bench said. It added that according to the rules, others, though placed lower on the merit in the result of the entrance examination, were eligible for and entitled to admission, and they could be displaced.

The court’s verdict came on a batch of appeals by medical students challenging their rejection. Advocate Dushyant Parashar, representing AIIMS in one of the appeals, submitted that though a large part of the first year of the two-year course was already over, the academic council of AIIMS had now instructed him to make a statement before the court, that if the status quo is lifted, the curriculum would be completed before the end of the academic year, by making up for the lost time by holding classes on all holidays.

According to the AIIMS admission prospectus, even those who till the stipulated date may not have cleared the qualifying examination, but were likely to clear it within the stipulated date, were permitted to apply. However, if such candidates do not clear the examination by the fixed date, they would not be admitted, the prospectus stated.

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