The future of 122 MPhil and PhD students of Delhi University’s Hindi department hangs in the balance as two aspirants, who were not selected to the programme, have approached the Delhi High Court against the alleged “illegal, arbitrary and unfair selection and admission of candidates”. All 122 students have been impleaded in the case and are expected to appear in the next hearing on March 27.

The petitioners have asked the court to “quash the list of candidates selected for admission to MPhil/PhD programme”, alleging that the university violated the procedure for admission. Students said that with just days to go for the hearing, the department had not communicated to them if they were supposed to hire their own lawyers or if the university would represent them.

Justice C Hari Shankar, in his order dated January 10, stated, “For the reasons stated in the application, the prayer for impleadment of the said candidates is allowed… This application seeks an ad interim order staying selection and admission process to the PhD course in Hindi, during the pendency of the present writ petition. Learned counsel for the respondent points out that admissions have already taken place. Be that as it may, all admissions effected to the said course would remain subject to the outcome of the present writ petition.”

The two students, Krishanand and Jitendra Singh, had approached the court through their lawyer Farrukh Khan. They said the common entrance test for MPhil and PhD was held on June 21 last year, in which Krishanand appeared as the topper, having scored 180 out of 200 marks in the entrance test, while Singh was rank 20 after securing 135 marks. However, on November 16, when names of eligible candidates were published, theirs did not appear on the list.

 “As per rules, person who qualified can be admitted to MPhil/PhD programme directly without going through entrance test… Procedure of admissions was violated and selection process for MPhil/PhD was arbitrary,” they alleged in the petition.

A current student of MPhil told The Indian Express that they had received an email from the petitioner’s advocates, asking them to “ensure your appearance in the court proceedings”. “Nothing has been communicated to us by the university,” the student said.

Head of the Hindi Department, Professor Mohan, did not respond to calls and texts by The Indian Express.

Amit Bansal, who is representing DU, said, “I don’t remember the specifics of this case, but the department must have followed due procedure.”

Khan, who is representing the petitioners, said, “We impleaded as per the court’s directions, because if my writ succeeds, some students’ admissions will be cancelled… They must have the right to defend themselves in court.”

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