Wont stay UGC directive, move High Court: Supreme Court

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Updated: Jun 25 2014, 13:58pm hrs
The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to stay the University Grants Commissions directive to scrap the four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP) in Delhi University with immediate effect.

A vacation bench of Justices Vikramjit Sen and S K Singh said the Supreme Court would not interfere with the issue straight away and that the petitioner should first move the Delhi High Court.

Please go to High Court. The High Court would consider the matter and we would also have the benefit of the reasoning of HC on the issue (when the matter comes before SC), the bench said.

Earlier, the court had taken up a petition filed by Aditya Narain Mishra, a former president of the Delhi University Teachers Association, who wanted the directive to be stayed till the legal challenge to the UGC order was decided. He had submitted that the FYUP was valid and the ordinance brought by the university regarding this was consistent with UGC guidelines.

The petition pointed out that the UGC had made no objections to the implementation of the FYUP and continued its grants, but the scenario changed after the new government took over.

The UGC suddenly woke up from its slumber and wrote to the university that allegedly the approval of the competent authority i.e. Visitor of the university (President) was not taken, the petition stated, adding that due approval of the DU Academic Council and the Executive Council was also taken.

The petition also stated that the approval was forwarded to the Visitor at the relevant time but he failed to take a decision in last one year, thereby, confirming his implied assent to the FYUP.

Claiming that the fundamental rights of students were being violated, the petition stated, The manner in which the aforesaid orders have been passed and the hurriedness and anxiety reflected by the UGC reflects a complete political nexus.

It said the UGC gave an advice to the DU on June 16 but without waiting for a consideration, issued an arbitrary order on June 20, mandatorily directing DU to take admissions only in three-year graduate programme.

FYUP challenged in High Court

A PIL was filed before the Delhi High Court on Tuesday, seeking directions to the Delhi University to comply with the UGC directions to scrap FYUP and reintroduce the three-year programme. The plea was filed by advocate R K Kapoor on grounds that the ongoing conflict between DU and the UGC was creating chaos, which would harm the interests of the students.

The confusion and chaos is continuing in Delhi University and the career of students is at stake on account of the conflict between UGC and DU..., the plea stated.

The legality of FYUP had been challenged last year by NGO Forum of Indian Legists. In its PIL filed on July 10, 2013, the NGO had alleged that the FYUP was unconstitutional and violated the National Policy on Education (NPE) which had prescribed a 10+2+3 formula for education.

This petition is still pending before the bench of the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court.