The Delhi High Court has slapped a cost of Rs 5,000 on Delhi University and granted it a last opportunity to reply on a petition by two law students that sought directions to DU to set up a mechanism to allow them to take supplementary examinations.

“Last opportunity is granted for filing of further affidavit by the Delhi University, subject to the payment of Rs 5,000 as cost. Let the affidavit be filed within one week. Rejoinder, if any, be filed within one week thereafter. No further opportunity shall be granted,” said Justice Prathiba M Singh.

The court was hearing a petition filed by law students Sandesh Kamlesh Jha and Shashank Rai through advocates Amit Sharma and Satyam Singh to seek directions to Delhi University to allow them to sit in supplementary exams for papers of first, second, third, and fourth semesters respectively with supplementary exams in papers of fifth and sixth semester, as and when they are scheduled by the Faculty of Law.

The petitioners had approached the High Court against the new scheme introduced by the university, as per which a final-year student, who has not cleared any examination from the first to fourth semesters, may appear in those exams during ‘regular examinations’ held at the end of each term.

The petitioners also pleaded for setting aside the impugned notification dated August 22, 2017 and notice dated October 9, 2017 published by the university.

Vide its August notification, the varsity had changed the method of conducting supplementary exams for final-year students, wherein the respondents (DU) had done away with the opportunity of reappearing and sitting in supplementary examinations for any backlog paper from the first, second, third, and fourth semester, thereby depriving the petitioners of the opportunity to appear and clear their backlog papers with supplementary examinations compulsorily held after regular semester examinations.

“Therefore, as per the impugned (new) rule, student can now only attempt and appear for backlog paper/s that they might have in fifth and sixth semester exclusively, thereby diluting the principle of supplementary examinations and also forcing the petitioners to appear in regular course of examinations, thereby causing them to wait and lose 9-10 months for graduation,” the plea said.

The petitioners further said the varsity has revised the earlier rule and brought forth the impugned rule by erroneously interpreting an earlier judgment of the Delhi High Court.

The petitioners sought the court’s direction to the varsity to conduct supplementary examinations as per the provisions that existed before the impugned notification.

The bench will now hear the matter on October 7.

On July 28, the court had directed the varsity to file a detailed affidavit on whether there was a system of holding supplementary examinations for odd semesters for final semester students along with the examinations for the final semester, and if so, when was the same discontinued.

It had also asked DU to state whether it required approval from the Bar Council of India for holding supplementary examinations, and if so, whether it had received the same for the new system.