Delhi University
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No reason for not adopting technically advanced methods: Delhi HC asks DU to consider issuing degrees through email

Students, especially doctors providing their services during the COVID-19 pandemic, ought not to have been forced to move court for seeking their degree-certificates, the Court said.

Aditi Singh

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked Delhi University to consider setting up a special cell for the purpose of entertaining requests from students for issuance of degree-certificate through email in a timely manner. (Dr Akshita Khosla vs DU)

The order was passed by a Single Judge Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh in a petition by 5 doctors who graduated the MBBS course at Lady Hardinge Medical College, Delhi.

It was the petitioners' grievance that in spite of graduating in 2018, they were yet to receive their degree-certificate.

The petitioners said that they wished to apply for their residency programmes in the United States and to sit in the USMLE examination, for which they needed to upload their degree-certificate by August 15.

In response, as stated before in a similar writ petition, Delhi High Court said that process of acquiring printer, etc for the purpose of printing the degree-certificates was on-going.

In that case, the varsity had informed that the degrees could not be printed due to lack of printing facilities.

The Court noted that the deadline for submission of bids for the printer was August 1, 2020, and bids would be opened on August 3, 2020. The contract would subsequently be entered into for the printer to commence printing of certificates.

Stating that the process is long drawn and would not serve the purpose of students who have deadlines for submission of their documents, the Court remarked,

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. Representation is stated to have been made by 25 students to the Dean of Examinations of DU but there has been no response.
Delhi High Court

The Court observed that owing to the lockdown, most institutions have made alternative arrangements for the issuance of digital certificates, digital mark-sheets and digital transcripts online, along with the digital signatures and security features.

It thus suggested,

There is no reason as to why DU should not be adopting technically advanced methods to ensure that the students are not inconvenienced. 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.
Delhi High Court

During the course of the hearing, Justice Singh remarked that when the judges of the High Court were signing orders digitally, why couldn't the same approach be adopted by Delhi University.

To examine the feasibility of setting up a special cell to issue marksheets, transcripts, degree-certificates, etc, the Court has now directed the presence of Joint Director, DU Computer Centre and Dean (Examination), DU before it through virtual mode.

The matter would be heard next on July 23.

Petitioner was represented by Advocate Sarthak Maggon.

Senior Advocate Sachin Datta with Advocates Mohinder Rupal, Hardik Rupal appeared for Delhi University.

Read the Order:

Dr Akshita Khosla vs DU.pdf
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