SC's Justice DY Chandrachud recuses himself from hearing St Stephen's college case

The judge said though he had prepared all the notes after going through the case file, it would not be appropriate for him to hear the matter as he passed from the college in 1979 .

Published: 09th December 2019 08:32 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th December 2019 08:32 PM   |  A+A-

Justice DY Chandrachud. (File Photo | PTI)


NEW DELHI: Supreme Court judge Justice D Y Chandrachud Monday recused himself from hearing a matter related to St Stephen's College saying he was a student of there and passed from it in 1979.

The judge said though he had prepared all the notes after going through the case file, it would not be appropriate for him to hear the matter.

An appeal challenging the Delhi High Court's July 17 verdict dismissing a plea, alleging large scale discrepancies in the cut-off marks notified by the college for Christian students of reserved categories, came up for hearing before a bench of Justices Chandrachud and Hrishikesh Roy.

"I have read your whole matter and taken notes also. I must tell you that I was a student of St Stephen's college. I had gone to the college and had passed out from there in 1979," Justice Chandrachud told senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, who was appearing for the petitioner.

"Let it (case) go before somebody else," Justice Chadrachud said.

Gonsalves told the bench that he has no problem if Justice Chandrachud hears the matter.

However, Justice Chandrachud said that the matter be placed before a bench in which he is not a member.

On July 17, a division bench of the high court had said that the petition filed by one of the professors of the college was "devoid of merit".

It had said the college has kept in mind various considerations while deciding on the number of candidates to be called for written test and interview, against the various courses and the various 'reserved quotas' provided therein.

The petition filed by professor Nandita Narain in the high court had alleged discrepancies in the cut-offs for non-Christian SC/ST and physically handicapped (PH) applicants.

The plea before the high court had contended that the college on June 26 notified "artificially high and illegal cut off marks for various courses" for Christian students belonging to ST, others and PH categories.

The college issued a corrigendum on July 2 reducing the cut-offs in some courses but it was not announced publicly, she had contended before the high court.

The petition had sought directions to the college to ensure that the discrepancies are rectified and correct number of Christian and non-christian students, belonging to the various reserved categories, are called for the interviews and written exams relating to admission to the undergraduate courses.

It has also urged the court to quash the June 26 notification and issue directions to the college to "rework and renotify" the cut-offs.

The college had earlier told the high court that this petition was similar to the one filed by the petitioner and two other professors of the college before a single judge during the vacations.

The court had dismissed that petition.

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