The Delhi High Court dismissed a challenge against the normalization procedure adopted by the IIT JEE examination calling the procedure completely transparent.

The petitioner had challenged the normalisation process that applies across the country to every student who undertakes the IIT JEE examinations.

Considering that providing the same question paper to over 12 lakh candidates was not possible, the JEE had been employing a normalisation procedure to address potential variations in question paper difficulty levels and to ensure complete transparency in the process.

The Court had stated that the process of normalisation on a percentile basis was a “detailed statistical process.

A Single Bench of Justice C. Hari Shankar observed, “Courts have, in my considered opinion, to be conscious even while issuing notice in such cases, where lakhs of students are involved. The very fact that an examination such as the IIT JEE, which governs entrance to IITs, NITs and other centrally funded technical institutions, may be subject matter of a Court proceeding, is itself a serious issue. It also creates uncertainty in the minds of students who attempt the papers.

Advocate Arun Sharma represented the petitioner, while Advocate Apoorv Kurup appeared for the respondents.

The Court noted that the petitioner was well aware of the normalisation procedure followed by IITs while undertaking the examination and that “it was in full consciousness of this procedure that the petitioner went ahead and undertook the examination.” The Court further remarked, “The entire challenge of the petitioner appears to be somewhat nebulous.

The petitioner had argued that the details of the normalization procedure had not been disclosed to which the Court replied that the entire process of normalization, including the manner in which the percentile score was worked out, stood exhaustively delineated in the information Bulletin provided on the website.

The Court pointed out, “It is a well-settled position, in administrative law, that a candidate cannot, in awareness of the system of conducting an examination and the marking process adopted in that regard, challenge the examination or the manner in which it is conducted, after the result are declared

Further, the Court remarked that the Court does not possess the expertise to subjectively go into the intricacies of the normalisation procedure since it was a matter of academic policy. Unless the procedure was found to be arbitrary or resulting in constitutionally unsustainable results, the Court cannot intervene.

Accordingly, the High Court dismissed the writ petition.

Cause Title: Setu Vinit Goenka v. National Testing Agency & Anr. (Neutral Citation: 2024:DHC:1582)


Petitioner: Advocate Arun Sharma

Respondents: Advocates Apoorv Kurup, Nidhi Mittal, Gauri Gobardhan, Akhil Hasija and Muskaan Gupta, and Sarika Soam; SPC Shiva Lakshmi, GP Archana Kumari

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