Delhi HC quashes decision of DU, ruling in favour of PhD student who took up an ad hoc job in his residency period

Delhi High Court:The Court rescinded the decision of the Delhi University to not allow the submission of pre-PhD thesis of a student who had taken up the job of an ad hoc professor at Lakshmibai College within his mandatory two-year residency period, after taking due permission from the supervisor and the Departmental Research Committee (DRC) and intimating the same to the Board of Research Studies(BRS).

The petition was filed by Deepak Kumar Gupta, who was denied to submit his research which he had conducted for his pre-PhD thesis, since he had violated Ordinance VIB of the University of Delhi Act. According to the ordinance, it was mandatory for a PhD student to complete two-year residency period before joining any employment. The petitioner, who had taken admission in PhD in 2012, took up the job of ad hoc professor at Lakshmibai College for four months in 2013. The denial of submission took place in 2015 without any prior notice or show cause notice.

The Court noted it was given in sub-clause (xiii) of Clause 11 that the permission only needs to be ‘reported’ to the Board of Research Studies which suggests that there does not arise a need to take permission from the BRS and only an intimation of the permission would suffice.

The Bench of Indermeet Kaur, J., thus ruled that a harmonious reading of the various clauses of Ordinance VIB persuades the Court to hold that sub-clause (xiii) of Clause 11 when read with the other preceding provisions of Ordinance VIB supports the case of the petitioner that where a candidate has obtained the permission of the Supervisor and the DRC and reported the matter to the BRS, he can take on an ad-hoc employment.

Consequently, the Court ordered that the petitioner was permitted to submit his PhD thesis and the same shall be considered and answered by University and if in order, the PhD degree shall be awarded to the petition. [Deepak Kumar Gupta v. University of Delhi, 2017 SCC OnLine Del 12280, decided on 13.12.2017]

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