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Plea challenging Gurdaspur college’s provisional allotment: Punjab and Haryana HC stays finalisation of list till next hearing

Referring to the form which was required to be submitted by the petitioners, the counsels further contended that the candidates were required to fill up the priority for admission to the course.

THE PUNJAB and Haryana High Court has kept the finalisation of the list of candidates for admission to the Institute of Agriculture, Gurdaspur, in abeyance till the next date of hearing of a plea by 12 students challenging its provisional allotment list.

The division bench of Justices Augustine George Masih and Ashok Kumar Verma, issued notice to Punjab Agriculture University (PAU), Ludhiana, for October 28 after hearing the plea of Jasnimrat Kaur and 11 other students, who had challenged the provisional allotment list uploaded by the varsity on September 26.

Advocates Kapil Kakkar and Shreesh Kakkar, counsel for the petitioners, have contended before HC that after having participated in the Agriculture Aptitude Test, the petitioners have been ranked higher in merit than the persons who have been given provisional allotment at Institute of Agriculture, Gurdaspur, only on the grounds that the petitioners had not opted for Gurdaspur.

Referring to the form which was required to be submitted by the petitioners, the counsels further contended that the candidates were required to fill up the priority for admission to the course. As there were only two options available — Institute of Agriculture, Bathinda and Institute of Agriculture, Gurdaspur — the petitioners mentioned Institute of Agriculture, Bathinda, as priority number 1, but that did not mean that they had opted out of consideration of the Institute of Agriculture, Gurdaspur.

PAU University however proceeded on the assumption that the petitioners had opted out of admission to Institute of Agriculture, Gurdaspur, and therefore probably not considered their claim for admission at Institute of Agriculture, Gurdaspur, despite they being higher on the merit list than most candidates on the provisional list for admission at Gurdaspur — a total violation of the requirement of the prospectus/admission form as also Article 14 of the Constitution, the counsel said.

The high court was informed that only the provisional list has been issued and the process of admission has not yet started nor has the list been finalised.

The bench said, “If that be so, the finalisation of list of candidates for admission to the Institute of Agriculture, Gurdaspur, shall be kept in abeyance till the next date of hearing.”

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