The High Court of Delhi, much to the relief of the students of Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences (MAIDS), has announced an extension to the deadline for the submission of thesis papers of students till September 30, 2020, with payment of a late fee of a sum of Rs. 5000.
The Single Bench constituting of Justice Prathiba M Singh has, although, also explained that students who can submit their thesis by July 31, 2020, will be allowed to submit and need not pay any late fee. The judgment came following the filing of a writ petition by the pupil of MAIDS that sought to contend the postponement of the submission of the thesis to June 30, 2020, without announcing the same to the students.
The plea argued that according to the amended Ordinance, which was issued on October 18, 2019, the deadline for submission is October 15, 2020, which can be extended for up to two weeks. Nevertheless, the students were told by the University that the new date is June 30, 2020, which is extendable till July 31 condition to a late fee. Hence, the Petitioners argued that the date is whimsical as the students were unaware of this advancement of the date. Moreover, it was contended that announcing such a change of date, with such short notice, given the stress of the pandemic has induced panic amongst the students. Mr. Mohinder Rupal, from Delhi University’s side, explained that the extended deadline of October 30, 2020, was never announced as the board did not approve it. MAIDS, contrarily, submitted that there was confusion with regards to the applicability of the Ordinance. Only on July 4, 2020, did MAIDS receive an email from the Delhi University stating, “the deadline for submission of the thesis would not be October 30, 2020, but it would be June 30, 2020, extendable till July 31, 2020, with a late fee.” The court observed:
“Neither DU nor MAIDS have been able to place on record, proper documents to establish as to when the colleges and students were notified of the various changes in deadlines for submission of the thesis. Thus, one thing is clear that the last date for submission of the thesis has been muddled up and confusion has been created in the minds of students. Therefore, in light of the lockdown and the stress on all medical colleges and institutions and also considering that the original Executive Council's amendment had extended the time till 15th October 2020, the court decided to grant an extension of time for submission of thesis till 30th September 2020, subject to payment of late fees in the tune of Rs. 5000.” The court noted:
“Considering that there is enormous miscommunication between the authorities and the circulars were not adequately circulated amongst the students, this relief is being granted at the prima facie stage. The same shall not be considered as an opinion on merits either regarding the powers of the Executive Council and the BRS or as to the genuinity and validity of the BRS minutes, which issues shall be considered at the stage of final adjudication of the writ petition.” The next date for the matter is September 09, 2020. [READ ORDER]