The Delhi High Court in a plea filed by a student belonging to an economically weaker section (EWS) has directed the Ministry of Science and Technology to release his scholarship amounting to Rs. 60,000/- at a simple interest of 6% along with the costs to the tune of Rs. 50,000/-.

The petitioner in this matter sought directions from the Court to the respondent to release or pay his 3rd installment of the scholarship under the INSPIRE scheme as well as the compensation and damages for mental harassment and loss of his career.

A Single Bench of Justice Prathiba M. Singh held, “In the overall facts and circumstances of the case, considering that the annual scholarship for the Petitioner was Rs.60,000/-, the third year’s scholarship amount i.e. Rs.60,000/- along with the simple interest of 6% is directed to be released to the Petitioner. In addition, costs are also awarded to the Petitioner to the tune of Rs.50,000/-. The said amount shall be paid by the Respondents.”

The Bench has further directed the respondent to release the amounts within a period of eight weeks.

Advocate Sunil Kumar Singh and Advocate Mukti Singh appeared for the petitioner while CGSC Bhagvan Swarup Shukla and Advocate Vikrant appeared for the respondent.

In this case, the Petitioner was given a certificate by the Madhya Pradesh Secondary Examination Board as being eligible for the scholarship for higher education under the INSPIRE Scheme. He took the admission for B.Sc. (Hons.) Mathematics at Delhi University. The respondent i.e., the Ministry of Science and Technology offered him the INSPIRE Scholarship vide letter and the petitioner was disbursed the Scholarship amount for the first and the second year.

However, for the third year, the scholarship was withheld on the ground that he did not score a 6.0 CGPA in the second year. The petitioner stated that he secured more than a 6.0 CGPA in the second year and hence could not have been deprived of the scholarship for the third year. He thereafter made an application to the respondent vide e-mail seeking disbursement of the scholarship but the reply received was that his marks were below the 6 CGPA.

The High Court after hearing the contentions of both parties noted, “The transcripts of the Petitioner which have been placed on record show that the CGPA of the Petitioner for the first and the second semester was 7.45 and for the third and four semesters was 6.32. Thus, in the first year, the Petitioner scored 7.45 CGPA and in the second year, he scored 6.32 CGPA. Thus, the stand of the Respondent that the Petitioner did not score 6 CGPA would not be correct.”

The Court observed that there was no mention in the Post Offer Implementation Guidelines for Scholars or in the INSPIRE Scheme that a 6.0 CGPA is required in the core subjects and thus, the rejection/ non-grant of scholarship to the petitioner is completely untenable.

“The Petitioner is from an economically weaker section and had to discontinue studies after B.Sc. due to non-award of the scholarship. Further, it is submitted that due to his CGPA he was fully qualified to obtain admission into the M.Sc. (Mathematics) which he could not pursue due to rejection/ non-continuation of scholarship”, said the Court.

The Court, therefore, issued necessary directions to the respondent and disposed of the plea.

Cause Title- Vikash Shukla v. Ministry of Science and Technology (Neutral Citation: 2023/DHC/001338)

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