Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The 3-judge bench of SA Bobde, CJ, AS Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian*, JJ has set aside the judgment of Delhi High Court, whereby the Court had refused to interfere with the decision of the University denying permission to the applicant to appear in 4th Semester LL.B Examination.

The applicant joined 3-year LLB Course at University of Delhi and completed first 3 semesters without any hindrance. During the 4th Semester, she fell short of required attendance due to two difficulties. One was that she gave birth to a baby on 22-02-2018, which had disabled her to attend classes till the end of March, 2018. The second difficulty was that the Delhi University Teachers’ Association had gone on a strike from 16-03-2018 and hence the University could not conduct the minimum number of classes as prescribed by Rule 10 of the Bar Council of India Rules. Due to inadequate attendance, the applicant was not permitted to write 4th Semester Examinations. Consequently, the applicant had filed an SLP against the said order, whereby the Court had permitted her to attend classes at her own risk on completion of the required formalities. Pursuant to the order of the Court, the applicant had appeared for the examinations of the 4th, 5th and 6th Semesters.

The issue in the present application was that, the University had declared the results of the 4th and 6th Semester examinations, but the results of the 5th Semester Supplementary Examination had not been declared. Therefore, the applicant had approached the Court with I.A.No.102466 of 2020, seeking a direction to the respondent to declare the results of the applicant for the 5th Semester Supplementary Examination and to grant the provisional degree, consolidated mark sheet and character certificate.

The Court, in the light of above, had directed the University to declare the results of 5th Semester Supplementary Examination of the applicant and issue the provisional degree along with necessary certificates, if she had passed the examinations, subject to the applicant clearing other formalities. [Ankita Meena v. University of Delhi, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 36, decided on 22-01-2021]

*Justice V. Ramasubramanian has penned this judgment. 


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has put this story together


Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Prathiba M. Singh, J., noted that Delhi University has now launched an online portal through which the students can obtain their digital degree certificates.

The above information came after a series of hearings in the matter.

Petitioners’ grievance was that they wished to pursue their post graduate medical education in USA and for the said purpose they required their degree certificates, however the same were not issued by Delhi University on the ground that the contract with printer had expired.

Court on 23-07-2020 had directed DU to come up with a protocol for issuance of digital degree certificates. On 4th August, Court appointed a committee for the said purpose.

The committee submitted a sample digital degree certificate and on perusal of the Court is satisfied.

Further, the Court added that the digital degree certificates are duly verified by two officials of the DU and digitally signed by the Authorised Officer of the DU, hence the same would satisfy the petitioners’ purpose.

Bench directed that the digital degree certificates for all the petitioners shall be issued by e-mail on or before 13-08-2020.

Adding to the above, Court noted that DU has now activated the online portal for issuance of digital degree certificates being, wherein the students have to register themselves and give their details including their academic qualification, name of their college, etc. Upon the same being completed by the students, the digital degree certificates for the students shall be issued within a maximum period of one week, after completing the verification, etc.

Court also directed MEITY/Digilocker and DU to file an affidavit regarding what steps have been taken to ensure that the data is made available to students through DigiLocker.

Another aspect to be looked into by DU is whether mark sheets and transcripts of students can also be issued digitally.

Matter to be listed on 07-09-2020. [Dhritiman Ray v. University of Delhi, 2020 SCC OnLine Del 977, decided on 07-08-2020]

Also Read:

Del HC | “No reason why DU should not adopt technically advanced methods”; Court suggests DU to issue degree certificates online through email

Del HC | Obtaining a degree should have been a cause of celebration, but turned into a nightmare; Court constitutes committee to finalise the process of issuing digital degree certificates to DU students

Hot Off The PressNews

Delhi High Court: Prathiba M. Singh, J. has upheld the Delhi University’s (DU) decision to conduct open-book examinations (OBE) for final year undergraduate students, set to start from the 10th of August, 2020.

The Court was hearing a plea filed by multiple students of the University, which sought to challenge the university’s decision to conduct OBEs, contending that it would be discriminatory for students who did not have internet, books and/or other resources for preparing for the exam or were stuck in Covid-19 containment zones. Moreover, the ability and preparedness of the University to conduct the exams, especially in light of the possibility of various technical problems, had been questioned. The University argued that conducting OBEs was in accordance with the UGC’s guidelines to conduct exams in a time-bound manner, and students would only require basic technology to appear for the examination. It contended that holding OBEs was to prevent students from assembling in one hall, intended at preventing the spread of Covid-19.

The High Court ruled in favour of DU, allowing it to conduct the OBEs from the 10th of August, 2020. However, the Court also issued several guidelines which the University would have to follow in conducting the examinations, such as uploading question papers on a portal and emailing them to students individually, giving students an extra hour to upload their answer sheet, sending auto-generated email to each student to confirm the receipt of the answer sheet by the University, etc. The Court observed that a Grievance Redressal Committee would have to be formed by the DU to resolve issues being faced by students, Common Service Centres would be made available for students with no cyber infrastructure, and students who fail to appear in the OBEs would have the option to appear in physical examinations in September; all of these would serve as safeguards for the students.

Source: Hindustan Times

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Prathiba M. Singh, J., constituted a committee to finalize the process in regard to the issuance of digital degree certificates for the students of Delhi University while directing the same Bench also observed that,

Obtaining a degree, which should have been a cause of celebration, has been turned into a complete nightmare for all these doctors who ought to have been busy rendering medical services during the pandemic.

Petitions filed were with the intent to reflect upon the sorry state of affairs at the Delhi University. Petitioners are all doctors and graduated their MBBS course in the year 2018 and 2019 and yet have been struggling to get their original degree certificates.

After failed approaches to the University, petitioners have reached out to the Court.

In an earlier petition, Court had observed that DU ought to make alternative arrangements during the COVID-19 pandemic for issuance of digital certificates, digital mark sheets and digital transcripts online along with digital signatures and security features.

Reason cited by DU for delay in issuance of the degree certificate was non-availability of paper and the fact that DU’s contract with the printer had expired.

Further, it was observed that Court was informed that steps were being taken for printing the degree certificates in an expedited manner. Despite this being the position, the tender for printing degree certificates was not finalized and it was only yesterday i.e., 3rd August, 2020 that the tender was opened. 

In an affidavit it has been informed to the Court that a Committee has been formed for looking after the security of sensitive data of academic awards, manpower requirement, University revenue, etc. 

“…looking at the urgency for the degree of the petitioners specially the medical doctors/professionals who have already completed their degree from University of Delhi and also other urgent specific cases, the University will initiate measures so that their degree can be delivered to them on priority basis and for that purpose the related data shall be given to the Digilocker to generate their digital degree.

Further, the University will develop a system to address such type of cases in a time bound manner so that degree certificate can be provided digitally.”

Insofar as Digilocker is concerned, the Court is informed that DU has registered on Digilocker only yesterday i.e., 3-08-2020.

Bench observed that despite the sufficient time being made available to the Delhi University, it is clear that adequate steps have not yet been taken to set up the process for issuance of digital degree certificates.

There is a completely callous attitude being reflected towards the plight of students.

Further, an affidavit filed by DU is lacking in several respects – in the name of the portal, the link to the portal, the form to be filled for obtaining the digital degree-certificate and is not providing a sample of the degree certificate to be issued.

Obtaining a degree, which should have been a cause of celebration, has been turned into a complete nightmare for all these doctors who ought to have been busy rendering medical services during the pandemic.

Hence in view of the above, Court constituted a Committee, which shall finalise the following:

a) The online link on the DU portal where the students can put in applications for issuance of their digital degree certificates. Alternatively, an e-mail address shall be provided where the Petitioners and similarly placed candidates can write an e-mail to obtain their degree certificates;

b) The timeline after receipt of the said email for verification and issuance of the degree certificate with the digital signature;

c) Template for the degree certificate to be issued by email;

d) Official to be responsible for affixing the digital signature and issuance of the same;

e) A sample degree certificate in favour of one of the Petitioners, duly signed with the digital signature, shall also be generated;

f) Timelines for transmission of past data to Digilocker from DU;

g) Timelines for transmission of data periodically to Digilocker so that students can easily access their certificates, transcripts, mark sheets, awards, etc.

Status report to be submitted on 07-08-2020 and matter for hearing is to be listed on the same date. [Dr Akshita Khosla v. University of Delhi, 2020 SCC OnLine Del 926, decided on 04-08-2020]

Also Read:

Del HC | “No reason why DU should not adopt technically advanced methods”; Court suggests DU to issue degree certificates online through email

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Pratibha M. Singh, J., while addressing the matter with regard to issuance of degree certificates of students from Delhi University held that,

DU ought to take a pragmatic approach in this matter and seriously consider the option of setting up a special cell, which would entertain requests of students on email, for digital-certificates, mark-sheets, transcripts etc. and installing the software necessary for issuance of degree-certificates with security features, to be sent online through email in a timely manner.

Petitioners graduated from Lady Hardinge Medical College, Delhi in 2018 but have not received their degree-certificate till date.

Petitioners submitted that they wished to apply for their residency programmes in the United States and to sit in the USMLE examination. As per the petitioners, the date by which the degree-certificates would have to be uploaded for processing to the ‘My ECFMG’ mobile application would be 15th August, 2020.

Court has repeatedly faced petitions by students of Delhi University seeking their transcripts and degree-certificates.

Students especially doctors providing their services during the COVID-19 pandemic ought not to have been forced to approach this Court for seeking their degree-certificates, especially when they graduated two years ago.

For the above stated grievance by the students, Dean has not responded.

Bench stated that, there is no reason as to why DU should not be adopting technically advanced methods to ensure that the students are not inconvenienced.

Further adding to the above, it was stated that students ought not to be forced to approach Courts for issuance of their mark-sheets, transcripts, degree-certificates etc., which ought to be issued in the natural course within a reasonable time. [Dr Akshita Khosla v. University of Delhi, 2020 SCC OnLine Del 830 , decided on 22-07-2020]

Case BriefsCOVID 19High Courts

Delhi High Court: A Division Bench of Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Asha Menon, JJ., while addressing a matter with regard to holding Delhi University’s Open Book Examination remotely being a discriminatory decision against the students with visual impairment and other disabilities transferred it to the Bench presided by Hima Kohli, J.

Delhi University’s notification dated 30th may and 1st June, 2020 with regard to holding of open book examination remotely for final year/term/semester were challenged in the present petition on the ground that of discrimination against rights of visually impaired and other disabilities students.

Senior Advocate S.K. Rungta contended that as per the directive of UGC, the examination has been postponed to September and the problems highlighted in the present petition still continue.

It is apposite that all the petitions concerning the examination are heard and decided by one Bench only, to avoid conflicting orders and any further chaos.

Hence, the present petition subject to the orders of the Chief Justice, be listed before the Bench presided by Justice Hima Kohli.[National Federation of the Blind v. UOI, 2020 SCC OnLine Del 751 , decided on 13-07-2020]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Pratibha M. Singh, J., noted that the present matter of non-issuance of degree certificates from Delhi University shows that there seems to be complete administrative lethargy on the part of all the authorities.

Petitioner a student of Delhi University had received the Commonwealth Scholarship by Kings College London, however the same could not materialize due to the non-filing of the degree certificate in time which was to be issued by Delhi University.

Thus, the present petition has been filed with regard to non-issuance of petitioner’s degree and now one final opportunity is available for him to avail the above-mentioned scholarship for which he would require the degree certificate.

Counsel for Delhi University submitted that the reason for non-issuance of the degree certificate was lack of proper quality paper and contract with the printer had also expired.

To the above submission, Court had passed the following order:

“8. This Court is of the opinion that there needs to be a proper streamlined procedure with proper deadlines being fixed for issuance of the mark sheets, transcripts, degree certificates, etc. so that students of DU are not inconvenienced in any manner. Accordingly, it is directed that Professor Vinay Gupta, Dean of Examinations, DU shall appear before this Court on 7th July, 2020 and suggest a proper schedule and timeline for issuance of degree certificates and other related documents as also the respective officers who would be personally responsible for the same.

9. Mr. Rupal, ld. counsel shall also obtain instructions and make a statement as to in what manner the degree certificate can be given to the Petitioner at the earliest and in any case, before 10th July, 2020.”

Prof. Vinay Gupta, Dean, Examination, University of Delhi assured the Court that the degree certificate for the petitioner would be issued on or before 10th July, 2020.

Immediately after the Convocation, DU is expected to release the degree certificates to its students. In the case of the Petitioner, the journey after completion of his studies, to obtain the degree certificate has turned out to be arduous and unpleasant.

Court took serious note of the present situation and the fact that issuance of degree certificates are being delayed, that too due to completely unjustifiable reasons.

“…issuance of degree certificates which ought to be a happy and memorable occasion has been turned into a laborious and burdensome process.”

In Court’s opinion, the completely unjustifiable reasons such as lack of paper, lack of printing facilities, etc. does not justify the non-issuance of the degree certificate for a period of three long years.

There is thus a need for the DU to streamline the process of issuance of degree certificates with a fixed timeline and schedule. Accordingly, an affidavit shall be placed on record by the University of Delhi, also DU shall create a dedicated helpline for the said purpose.

Insofar as the Petitioner is concerned, since time is of the essence, Prof Gupta has agreed to expedite the issuance of the degree certificate. Accordingly, the Petitioner shall approach the office of Prof. Vinay Gupta, Dean, Examination, Delhi University, North Campus on 9th July, 2020 at 3:00 p.m, to collect his original degree certificate.[Dhritiman Ray v. University of Delhi, 2020 SCC OnLine Del 735 , decided on 07-07-2020]