Allahabad High Court Orders Compensation for Candidate Declared Ineligible Due to Changed Eligibility Rules Post-Registration

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Published on: January 24, 2024 at 11:10 IST

In a recent development, the Allahabad High Court directed the University of Allahabad to compensate a candidate with Rs. 50,000.

The Court ruled that the eligibility criteria for admission had been altered after the candidate had already applied, and thus, he could not be deemed ineligible for failing to meet the modified criteria.

Justice Ashutosh Srivastava, while hearing a petition filed by the candidate seeking admission to a second postgraduate course at the University of Allahabad, emphasized that the change in eligibility criteria occurred after the petitioner had submitted the application. Therefore, he cannot be held accountable for not meeting the altered criteria.

Despite acknowledging that the academic session was concluding, and admitting the petitioner into the course was impractical, the court noted that the petitioner had endured unnecessary litigation and had approached the court three times. As a result, the court directed the University to compensate the petitioner with Rs. 50,000.


The petitioner had applied for admission to the M.A. Women Studies Course at Allahabad University for the academic year 2022-23. The eligibility conditions included securing more than 60% marks in the first postgraduate exam and obtaining permission from the Vice-Chancellor if a candidate had already passed the first postgraduate exam.

The petitioner, who had topped the OBC category with 141.1 marks, discovered that candidates with lower marks were being selected. After filing a representation, the University informed the petitioner that he was deemed ineligible based on the Admission Committee’s decision to allow candidates who had already passed postgraduate exams in any subject to apply for admission in another subject, provided they scored 9 grade points on a 10-point scale in the previous PG course.

During the proceedings, the University argued that the eligibility criteria had been incorporated into the resolution passed in the Academic Council meeting before the online registration opened. However, the minutes of the meeting were approved later. The University contended that the criteria change was made before the registration closing date and, therefore, should not be faulted.

High Court Verdict:

The Court acknowledged that the eligibility change was approved before the closing of the registration forms. However, it noted that the change was communicated after the last date for accepting registration forms, and there was no extension of the deadline.

The Court concluded, “The University proceeded to change the rules of eligibility after the selection process had already commenced. The amended criteria could not be applied to the case of the petitioner to non-suit him. The impugned action of the University being contrary to law is liable to be set aside and is accordingly, set aside.

While recognizing that directing the University to reconsider the petitioner’s candidature was not feasible due to the concluding academic session, the court directed the University to compensate the petitioner with Rs. 50,000 for the unnecessary hardship caused.

Case Title: Ajay Singh v. University Of Allahabad And Another [WRIT – C No. – 17412 of 2023]

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