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Law topper Abhinav Pandey has approached the Delhi High Court against the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University after being denied the gold medal for the BA LLB (Hons) course.
The reason for this denial? The fact that Pandey wrote two of his fifth-semester exams the next semester after suffering from a bout of chickenpox.
Pandey’s troubles began in February this year, when the Amity Law School graduate first found out that he was not being given the gold medal despite his academic performance. All Pandey was told was that a University Ordinance disbarred him from the gold medal; no other details were provided. Letters to both, the Vice Chancellor Registrar and the Controller of Examinations, were not replied to.
It was only after a series of conversations did the University provide a copy of an order dated November 21, 2012 which stated,
“…the student obtaining highest CPI (Cumulative Performance Index)…shall be eligible for gold medal…if the student has passed every paper/course in first attempt.”
Since Pandey did not write the papers in the fifth semester, claimed the University, he could not qualify for the gold medal despite possessing the highest CPI in his batch.
Speaking to Bar & Bench, Pandey said he decided to pursue the matter on principle.
“This case is symbolic in some ways. I have already been selected as a judicial officer. But if you have a right and a remedy, you must pursue it. You should not, cannot, let go of your rights.
In writ petitions, one can appear in person, make arguments in court. So even if someone cannot hire a lawyer, they should not let go of his rights.”
Earlier this week, Justice Manmohan issued notice in Pandey’s petition, while also saying that the University was free to award the gold medal to a student other than Pandey. In case it was found out that Pandey was entitled to the gold medal, he would receive the same in a subsequent convocation. (See order below)
Pandey’s lawyer, Amit George, said that the University’s interpretation certainly warranted judicial intervention. Vaibhav Kalra appeared for the University, and the matter shall now be heard in September this year.