Court reserves order on DU sports quota guidelines


New Delhi : The Delhi High Court Monday reserved its order on a student’s plea seeking the quashing of Delhi University guidelines for a mandatory fitness test to seek admission under the sports quota, even for indoor games like chess.

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Petitioner Chetna Karnani, a 17-year-old chess player who secured 72.5 percent in her Class 12 exams, had sought admission under the sports quota. In June, she failed in the fitness test because of her obese stature.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw reserved the order after hearing arguments from counsel for petitioner and the university.

Karnani challenged the revised guidelines of university and its sports council dated May 18 which mandate “general physical fitness test” for admissions under all category of sports quota.

She applied for B.A. (English) course in four colleges of the university under the sports quota for chess players.

“The criteria pertaining to the qualification of fitness test should not be made applicable to the indoor game of chess and if it is not removed as a pre-condition, the same would defeat the very purpose of inclusion of the game of chess in the sports quota,” said her petition.

Karnani sought admission in any of the four colleges under the sports quota on the basis of the old guidelines which did not insist on a physical fitness test for chess players.

The petitioner said that she had been pursuing the game of chess for the last more that seven years.

Karnani said that she had sent representation to the university that she may not be able to qualify the fitness test as she was a little obese and, therefore, she may not be able to meet the standards prescribed in the guidelines.

“Chess is an indoor game and it had nothing to do with the level of physical fitness a candidate must possess,” said the petition.

The revised university guidelines were “highly unreasonable and totally irrational”, she alleged.