The Delhi High court has directed Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to grant admission to a differently-abled student by increasing a seat in its ‘Comparative Political Theory’ stream. It also noted that the university should work out a mandate under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act.
A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V Kameswar Rao asked the varsity to grant admission to the student, Dharamveer Yadav, by increasing a seat in the stipulated seven-seat course stating that the seat would be supernumerary and lapse when the student is awarded his degree.
It also noted that as many as 15 reserved seats have been wasted as no differently-abled person could qualify and get admission.
The court said, “Also, we find that many reserved seats, at least 15 have gone waste as no person with a disability could get qualified, against the said seats. In such an eventuality and in peculiar facts of this case, the court is of the view that the Respondent No 3 (JNU) shall increase the intake to eight in the “Comparative Political Theory” stream, which shall be supernumerary, which shall get lapsed after Dharamveer is awarded the degree.”
It added, “It is for the University to work out the mandate of the Act so that every person with a disability, who qualifies get admission. But in no case, they can violate the mandate.”
The bench’s direction comes while hearing a plea by an NGO National Federation for Blind (NABH) which had challenged the admission policy of JNU for the year 2018-19 after two students with disability, Dharamveer Yadav and Deepak Mishra were not granted admission by the university.
Appearing for the petitioner, senior advocate SK Rungta contended that according to the Disability Act, 2015, all government aided institutions of higher education to have to strictly reserve not less than five percent of the seats for persons with disability. He alleged that the varsity was not granting admission to the students with a disability in courses where the intake of seats was less than nine.
However, appearing for JNU, advocate Monika Arora had contented that reservation could be granted only where the provision has been kept for reservation of a particular category center-wise/school wise. She refused the claim of the petitioners that the reservation was on the total intake of seats.
During the pendency of the petition, Mishra was granted admission in Sanskrit stream, however, Yadav was yet to secure admission. The varsity said that granting admission to Yadav would be a violation of the rules laid down by the University Grants Commission (UGC) as all the seven seats in the Comparative Political Theory stream have been occupied.
However, the court stated that Yadav could not secure admission despite qualifying as the number of reserved seat for the disabled for one and not two and directed that he be given admission.