75% Minimum Criterion for Admission Under Sports Quota Struck Down

In an order dated August 9, 2023, the Supreme Court in the Dev Gupta v. PEC University of Technology and Ors. case (CA No.5013/2023) struck down clause 1(b) of the admission brochure for the academic year 2023-24 applicable to institutions in the Union Territory of Chandigarh as void. The said clause required candidates to secure a minimum of 75% aggregate marks in the qualifying examination to be eligible for admission under the 2% sports quota.

The present appeal was filed against the decision dated July 14, 2023, of the Punjab and Haryana High Court dismissing the writ petition challenging the abovementioned clause.

It was opined by the Division Bench of Justice S Ravindra Bhat and Justice Aravind Kumar that the sports quota was introduced to promote sports and sportsmanship in educational institutions and not to accommodate academic merit. The Court held that excluding candidates for securing less than 75% in the qualifying examination was “unwarranted and discriminatory”. Holding that such a condition “does not subserve the object of introducing the sports quota, but is, rather destructive of it”, it was expressed that “the criterion, in that sense, subverted the object and is discriminatory; it, therefore, falls afoul of the equality clause, in Article 14 of the Constitution”.

Hence, the Court allowed the appeal and set aside the order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.