While setting aside the CET-2022 ranking for undergraduate courses in engineering and technology, the High Court of Karnataka on Saturday directed the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA) to redo the ranking by taking II Pre-University (PU) marks and CET-2022 marks in the ratio of 50:50, even for the students who passed II PU in 2021.
Justice S.R. Krishna Kumar delivered the verdict while allowing a batch of petitions filed by Eshwar R. and 52 other students, who had passed the II PU in 2021 and reappeared for CET-2022.
The petitioner-students had questioned the different yardsticks adopted in awarding ranks to them in CET-2022.
The KEA had considered only the marks obtained in CET-2022 subjects to award ranks to students who had passed II PU in 2021 without writing exams as marks were awarded through a special scheme formulated in view of COVID-19. However, the ranks for students who passed II PU in 2022, the KEA had considered II PU and CET-2022 marks in the 50:50 ratio
“Redo the CET-2022 ranking for the admission to engineering and technology courses for the academic year 2022-23 strictly in accordance with Rules 3 and 4 of the Karnataka Selection of Candidates for Admission to Government Seats in Professional Educational Institutions Rules, 2006, and without reference to the proviso to Rule 4 inserted on September 1, 2021,” the court said in the order.
KEA ‘note’ quashed
Also, the court set aside a “note”, issued by KEA on the day of announcing the results, on July 30, 2022, in which it was stated that marks of only CET-2022 were considered for allotting ranks for students who had passed II PU in 2021.
With this order, KEA will now have to redo the entire process of allotting ranks for all students who wrote CET-2022 as KEA had considered marks in the ratio of 50:50 only for students who passed II PU in 2022.
The court said that the amendment made to Rule 4 on September 1, 2021 to consider the marks of only CET-2021 for admissions to engineering and technology courses was confined only to the academic year 2021-22 and it “cannot be extended to 2022-23 through the ‘note’ in the absence of any further amendment to the Rule.”
“The decision to consider marks of only CET-2022 ‘stood exhausted’ for the academic year 2021-22 as there was no further amendment or extension of it for the academic year 2022-23,” the court said.
The different yardsticks applied by authorities was “contrary to the principles of legitimate expectation and promissory estoppel” and was “discriminatory and arbitrary apart from being unreasonable and unfair” as II PU marks of 2021 was considered for admission to undergraduate courses for the academic year 2022-23, the court said.
“The rules of the game/eligibility criteria cannot be changed after it has begun and when the selection process is nearly completion,” the court observed, while pointing out that even while also pointing out that even the CET-2022 bulletin did not contain information on considering only CET-2022 marks for students who passed II PU in 2021.