NEW DELHI: In the age of the open university system of distance education where one can get a higher degree without having basic ones, this ruling
from the Supreme Court has come as a dampner.
To the question — whether a candidate, who has got a post-graduate degree from an open university without completing his graduation, be eligible to be admitted to the LLB course requiring graduation as an educational qualification — the apex court's answer was an emphatic 'no'.
Upholding Guru Nanak Dev University's contention and setting aside a Punjab and Haryana High Court verdict, a Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and R V Raveendran said once the minimum eligibility criterion was a regular graduation degree, the stipulation could not be side-stepped by a post-graduation degree from an open university.
Appealing against the HC order directing it to admit Sanjay Kumar Katwal to the LLB course on the basis of his post-graduation degree through the distance education from Annamalai University, GNDU said it recognised the regular and correspondence course degrees conferred by Annamalai University but not the ones obtained through the open university system. Counntering GNDU's stand, Katwal argued before the Bench that the distance education system included correspondence courses and therefore post-graduation through correspondence was equivalent to the regular MA degree.
6 months ago