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Having a good practice as an advocate does not equate to teaching experience, Delhi HC
Apprentice Lawyer

Having a good practice as an advocate does not equate to teaching experience, Delhi HC

Aditya AK

The Delhi High Court last week dismissed a petition challenging the selection process for teachers at Faculty of Law, Delhi University. The petition was filed on the ground that the requirements for appointment of an Assistant Professor did not include experience as an advocate.

Currently, the eligibility criteria for selection of faculty includes “good academic record as defined by the University”, with at least 55% marks at the Master’s degree level. Having cleared the National Eligibility Test (NET) conducted by the UGC is also a prerequisite. Apart from these, additional weightage is given to post-Ph.D. research and teaching experience.

The single bench of Justice Valmiki Mehta refused to interfere with the University’s selection process, stating,

“Surely, the authority and employer who seeks to appoint persons would ordinarily be the best judges of the eligibility criteria as also additional qualifications for a person to be appointed to a post…”

The petitioner, represented by advocates Anuj Bhandari and Naveen Kumar Gautam, contended that she had met the 55% marks criteria and had passed the NET. However, the Court held that these were only the minimum eligibility criteria and that the University was well within its rights to define what a “good academic record” was. Hence, the Court found nothing wrong with the fact that the University gave additional weightage to post-Ph.D. research.

Moreover, the Court held that experience as an advocate does not necessarily enhance one’s teaching credentials.

“No doubt, an Advocate who has experience would have considerable weight, but that weightage will be in the field of practice of law and it cannot be argued that merely being a successful Advocate and having a good practice as an Advocate will mean that such a person should be equated to a person who has teaching experience or a post Ph.D research experience.”

Read the judgment: