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Education institutes may deny admission on disciplinary grounds: high court

An educational institute is ‘well within’ its right to deny admission to a successful candidate if his entry adversely affects its discipline, the Delhi High Court has ruled.

‘The right of an educational institution to either admit or deny admission is beyond dispute and no student has got a right to compel an institution that he should be admitted,’ a bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice R S Endlaw said.

The bench also said a selected student is entitled to admission, but ‘equally, it is the solemn responsibility on the part of the university to consider the past conduct of the student even if such student was ranked for the admission.

‘If the admission of the appellant is not conducive for good administration of the university and if it affects the discipline among other students, it would be well within its right to refuse admission,’ the bench added.

The ‘responsibility’ of an institute is to not only impart education but also to ‘inculcate’ discipline, it said.

The court made the observation, while upholding the decision of a single judge bench, which had dismissed the plea of Hamidur Rehman that he was ‘arbitrarily’ denied admission in MA (Persian) by Jamia Millia Islamia University for academic session 2012-14.

Rehman had also said he ranked 21st in the test, held for admission for total 30 seats and the university admitted only 20 students to deny him the admission. The court dismissed the appeal also taking note of reports from ‘heads of each of the departments, which stated that the appellant was offensive and aggressive against the university.’

‘We find that the denial of admission of the appellant is not unjustified, unfair or arbitrary and for that reason, the appellant cannot seek admission as a matter of right,’ it said.

The court said the right of an institute to grant or deny admission and the right to admission of a student are ‘beyond dispute,’ but they have ‘certain limitations.’

‘The educational institution cannot deny admission to such of those students who would be entitled to be admitted on the basis of ranking provided the seats are also available for such students. To this extent, correspondingly the student is also entitled to seek for admission...

‘Equally, we are also not oblivious of the importance of discipline among students. Universities today have striven to ensure principled conduct for the admission of students and the transition to higher education. The code of conduct is amongst the necessary elements which are known today for admission of any student in schools or universities,’ it said. It also said, ‘Discipline in schools and universities must be recognised as prioritised criteria for admission of a student in a particular course.’
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