Delhi High Court
Delhi High Court
Litigation News

Non-issue of degree certificate due to unavailability of paper, printing facilities completely derisory, inexcusable: Delhi HC pulls up DU

The Court has directed Delhi University to file an affidavit detailing how they intended to streamline the process of issuance of degree certificates.

Aditi Singh

Pulling up the Delhi University for non-issuance of degree certificate to a student on account of lack of printing facility and paper, the Delhi High Court has directed the University to file an affidavit detailing how they intended to streamline the process of issuance of degree certificates. (Dhritiman Ray vs University of Delhi)

The order was passed by a Single Judge Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh.

The Court was hearing a petition by one Dhritiman Ray (Petitioner) who completed his M.A. in Psychology from the Zakir Hussain Delhi College, Delhi in 2017.

The Petitioner thereafter obtained admission into several prestigious colleges for a post graduate course.

The Petitioner was awarded 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 the DU.

A special certificate issued by Delhi University in lieu of the degree certificate was not accepted by the international universities as a degree certificate.

The Petitioner moved the Court for a direction to Delhi University for the issuance of his degree in view of one final opportunity available to him to avail a scholarship from Glasgow University.

When the matter came for hearing before the Court, Delhi University submitted that the reason for non-issuance of the Petitioner's degree certificate was lack of proper quality paper and the expiry of the contract for the printer.

Subsequently, Prof Vinay Gupta, Dean, Examination, University of Delhi appeared before the Court and clarified that the varsity always endeavored to help the students to the maximum extent possible.

He stated that while the convocation for the 2017 degree course was held in November 2018, the data relating to students was uploaded by the college only in December 2019.

Immediately thereafter, the contract with the printer engaged by Delhi University came to an end and the same had to be re-tendered, Prof Vinay Gupta explained.

The Court was further informed that owing to the lockdown, very few bids were received for the tender for the printer, which delayed the process.

Asserting that the tender for the printer would be finalized shortly, Prof. Gupta assured the Court that the degree certificate for the Petitioner would be issued on or before July 10, 2020.

After hearing the parties, the Court observed that attainment of graduation and award of degree was usually a cause for celebration among students, however, the Petitioner's journey to obtain the degree certificate was "arduous and unpleasant".

Taking serious note of the fact that issuance of degree certificates to students was delayed due to completely unjustifiable reasons, the Court observed,

The non-availability of paper and printing facilities cannot be a justifiable cause especially when the careers and educational prospects of students are at stake. Though no convocation is held, the issuance of degree certificates which ought to be a happy and memorable occasion has been turned into a laborious and burdensome process.
Delhi High Court

The Court concluded that the case showed "complete administrative lethargy" on the part of all Delhi University authorities and remarked,

"First, there is no justification for not holding the convocation on an annual basis in the same year when the student passes out. It is unheard of that the convocation is itself held one year later. Secondly, there is no justification for the college not to send the data relating to the Universities immediately upon announcement of results of the final year students. Thirdly and finally, the non-availability of printing facilities and paper is a completely derisory and inexcusable reason."

The Court ultimately opined that Delhi University ought to facilitate the process of obtaining degree certificates and should provide all possible assistance to students.

There is thus a need for the DU to streamline the process of issuance of degree certificates with a fixed timeline and schedule.
Delhi High Court

The Court accordingly directed Delhi University to give the following details on affidavit:

i. Details of the Statutes/Regulations that govern the holding of convocations;

ii. The procedure adopted for holding of convocations and the frequency thereof;

iii. The procedures followed by colleges and the DU for collection of data and the timelines thereof; and

iv. The timeline for issuance of degree certificates after the Convocation is held.

The University shall also give the name of the person (by designation) who would be in charge of issuing degree certificates and the manner in which the procedure would be speeded up.

The Court has also directed Delhi University to consider creating a dedicated helpline for the purpose of issuance of degree certificates, transcripts etc.

The matter would be heard next on July 10 to ascertain if the Petitioner received his degree certificate.

The matter would be listed for further hearing on August 7, 2020.

Advocate Sarthak Maggon represented the Petitioner.

Advocates Mohinder Rupal, Hardik Rupal appeared for Delhi for University.

Read the Order:

Dhritiman Ray vs University of Delhi.pdf
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