Debashish Kumar Panda & Ors v. National Law University, Delhi & Ors.
A petition has been filed by the students of University Law College, Bhubaneswar in Delhi High Court for disclosure of records and marks of the participants in the memorial round of the Moot Court Competition organised by NLU-D for celebrating the 70th Constitution Day.
The petitioners submitted that they duly registered themselves and submitted their memorials on time. The Petitioners followed all the rules of the Moot Court as mentioned in the Rules and Regulations & ‘Mooting Manual’ as was released by the coordinating and organizing University: National Law University -Delhi.
It is alleged by the Petitioners that they received an email from the Organizing Committee NLU-Delhi informing them about their selection in the list of Top 24 teams and their eligibility to participate in the oral rounds.
It is further stated that on 08.10.2020 an email was received by the Petitioners from the Organizing Committee of the Moot Court stating that “there was an error with respect to the scores and the final list of 24 teams will be released on 09.10.2020.”
Petitioners received an email on 09.10.2020 wherein the petitioner’s team was not included in the list of shortlisted teams. The petitioners then wrote emails to the Organizing Committee requesting them to clarify on which ground their team has been disqualified and to kindly disclose the marks immediately. However, the Organizing committee chose not to respond to the email of the Petitioner. The petitioners then approached the office of Vice-Chancellor and Registrar but received no reply.
The petitioners contended that “the action and inaction of the Respondents areunjust, unfair and violative of the principles of natural justice. There was no error on part of the Petitioners. They acted with due care. They timely registered themselves andsubmitted the memorials on time. Since the Petitioners have registered and duly submitted the Moot Court memorials on time as per the rules of the Moot Court Competition, the Petitioners have the right to know the marks obtained by them in such memorials.”
The petitioners submitted that because the Moot Court plays an important role while getting placements in any law firm, corporate and other places, the Petitioners have invested two months of hard work and dedication for preparing for the said Moot Court Competition and not getting even a chance to appear in the oral rounds of the said Moot Court Competition because of the unknown reason is unjust and unfair. The Petitioners could have invested the said time and energy in preparation for another Moot Court Competition or writing a research paper which would have helped them in their career prospects.
The petitioners further contended that no reasons were given for rejecting the petitioners and that “the Respondents No. 1-4 have failed to give cogent reasons for disqualifying the Petitioners and the exact reason for disqualification instead they have chosen to reject the Petitioners team arbitrarily by simply mentioning that it is human or technological error, meaning thereby that even the Respondents No. 1-4 are unaware of the reasons for rejecting the Petitioners who were selected in the 24 shortlisted teams out of the 115 teams.”
The petitioners alleged that since the Moot Court is to be held virtually, no grave inconveniences would be caused to the Respondents No. 1-4 in accommodating the Petitioners since it is not a physical moot court, the Respondents No. 1-4 need not arrange additional infrastructure and will not incur extra/additional expenditure on food, accommodation, travel etc.
“The theme of this Moot Court Competition is ‘Kartavya’ (Duty) and the Organizing Committee failed in their Kartavya/duty to maintain transparency. Non-disclosure of the marks obtained by the Petitioner gives an impression that the error is not a genuine one.”
The petitioners seek that the Hon’ble HC allow the Petitioners to appear in the oral rounds of the Moot Court Competition and direct the Respondents to produce the records before the Court and apprise the Petitioners their marks obtained.