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Sunday, October 25, 2020

Gujarat HC rejects IIM-A aspirant’s plea over selection process

Heard by a single judge of the HC earlier, the petitioner aspirant was not granted the sought relief, primarily on the ground that the court did not deem it fit to interfere in a matter of educational policy.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Updated: October 2, 2020 10:22:14 am
gujarat hc, iima, iima selection process, iima entrance, indian express newsThe court upheld that “there are a series of considerations for conducting such a test which are best left to the experts in the field.” (File)

Ruling that there can’t be any hard and fast rule regarding the extent of weightage of a written test vis-a-vis a personal interview, especially in postgraduate specialised courses such as the one offered by the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad (IIM-A), the Gujarat High Court, on Thursday, refused to intervene in the institute’s selection process after it was challenged by an aspirant who was not selected.

The court upheld that “there are a series of considerations for conducting such a test which are best left to the experts in the field.”

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Drawing from earlier precedents set by Supreme Court judgments, the division bench of the HC also held that the role of statutory expert bodies on education and role of courts are well defined by a simple rule, wherein if any provision of law or principle of law has to be interpreted, applied or enforced with reference to or connected with education, the court will step in. Otherwise, if the question is related to education policy or an issue involving academic matters, “the court should keep their hands off.”

Failing to secure admission at IIM-A despite ranking among the top 110 students to clear the common admission test (CAT) for management aspirants, petitioner Raghav Gupta had sought that the IIM-A procedure of selecting candidates – whereby 50% of the weightage is given to personal interviews and only 25% to CAT scores – be quashed and set aside. Heard by a single judge of the HC earlier, the petitioner aspirant was not granted the sought relief, primarily on the ground that the court did not deem it fit to interfere in a matter of educational policy. This verdict of the single judge was challenged before the division bench by the aspirant, as an appeal.

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The division bench observed that no constitutional infirmity was found on the part of IIM-A by their policy of prescribing higher percentage of marks for the viva/ test/ interview. The court also acknowledged that the aspirant had only moved court after not being selected by IIM-A, despite being aware of their selection process beforehand, made publicly available.

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