A Delhi student who passed his class 12 examination from an NCR school cannot avail benefit of reservation available to a Delhi candidate in admissions in a college of the national capital, the Delhi High Court has held.
Justice Sanjeev Narula said that the language of the relevant provision of Delhi Diploma Level Technical Education Institutions (Prohibition of Capitation Fee, Regulation of Admission, Fixation of Non-Exploitive Fee and Other Measures to Ensure Equity and Excellence) Act is clear and unambiguous and term Delhi candidate means a candidate who has appeared for or passed the qualifying examination from a recognised school or institution which is in Delhi.
The court passed the order on a petition by a student who completed class 12 education from a school in Gurugram while being a resident here and now sought benefit of reservation for college admission here. The petitioner said that till class 5, he studied in the Delhi “branch" of the school and the Act ought not disqualify students who are residents of Delhi and have passed the qualifying examination i.e. class 12 examination from a school located outside of the city but within NCR, from availing the benefit of reservation available for the locals.
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Dismissing the petition, the court said the determining factor to avail the benefit is the geographic location of the school providing the pass certificate of the qualifying examination, as opposed to the domicile of the student. The court noted that the school in Gurugram was not just a branch of the petitioner’s earlier school in Delhi but a separate school recognised by the government of Haryana and fell under the ambit of the Haryana education department.
The determining factor to avail the benefit is the geographic location of the school providing the pass certificate of the qualifying examination, as opposed to the domicile of the student. Although the term ‘Delhi student’ which appears in Section 12(1)(b) of the 2007 Act is not specifically defined or equated to the term ‘Delhi candidate’; however, the reference to ‘Delhi student’, in the said provision, in the context of the instant statute, can have only one meaning, i.e. ‘Delhi candidate’, said the court in an order released on Wednesday. The language of Section 3(g) of the 2007 Act is clear and unambiguous.
The term ‘Delhi candidate’ means a candidate who has appeared for or passed the qualifying examination from a recognised school or institution which is situated in Delhi. In the present case, Petitioner No. 2 (student) has cleared his qualifying examination (i.e. class 12 examinations) at TSRS Gurugram and would not be eligible as a ‘Delhi candidate’, and thus, cannot avail the benefit under Section 12(1)(b) of the 2007 Act, the court added.
The court further said that once the petitioner gave up the challenge to the legality of the provisions of the Act, its validity has to be presumed and there can then be no scope to read down the provision or restrict its applicability in order to extend the benefit of reservations as a matter of interpretation of the statute.
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