Calcutta HC expresses confidence situation will improve in Jadavpur University

The bench, also comprising Justice Hiranmay Bhattarcharyya, said it is confident that the situation in the university will improve

Calcutta High Court (Getty Images)
Calcutta High Court (Getty Images)


Expressing confidence that the situation will improve in Jadavpur University, which is in the news over the death of a first-year undergraduate student, the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court observed every institution goes through a bad patch.

Hearing a PIL seeking measures to ensure proper educational atmosphere in the prestigious institute, ranked fourth in the country by the NIRF (National Institutional Ranking Framework) of the Union government's ministry of education, a division bench presided by Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam directed that the students' unions be impleaded in the matter.

The bench, also comprising Justice Hiranmay Bhattarcharyya, said it is confident that the situation in the university will improve.

Saying every institution goes through a bad patch, the court observed, "Probably, we are in a bad patch now, things will change.".

The court directed the university authorities to submit before it on the next date of hearing a compilation comprising the Jadavpur University Act, 1981, various ordinances, regulations and rules which have been framed by the university for student welfare, regulation of student hostels and related matters.

The matter will be heard again on September 5, the court directed on Monday.

Holding that the university has tremendous powers as per the statute, the court said in the event its authorities say they are unable to implement the regulations despite being empowered, then it must think what needs to be done in such a situation.

The court said while police will ensure normalcy on the roads outside the campus, the university authorities will come up with a plan on maintaining proper educational atmosphere inside the campus.

"We need to be proud as an alumnus after having graduated from the university. When they call you after 15 years for an alumni meet, you should be proud with pleasant memories to return to the university; not with horrific memories," the Chief Justice said.

Holding that this is an in-house problem, the court said it will hear out the students' unions for their views on the matter for sorting out all issues.

A 17-year-old student of Bengali language undergraduate course died after falling from a second-floor balcony of the main boys' hostel, situated outside the university campus, on August 9. His family alleged that he was a victim of ragging.

The university's lawyer submitted that efforts are on to relocate the freshers to a separate facility inside the campus, but those who are already residing there are objecting to the move.

He submitted that large-scale demonstrations were held by various political parties on the road outside the main campus causing public inconvenience.

The court said police will regulate and take measures against any inconvenience caused to the public on the roads owing to the agitations.

Claiming that the prestige of the premier university has gone down over the recent developments, petitioner's lawyer Kalyan Banerjee said the purpose of the PIL is restoration of the institution's glory.

Submitting that a fresher, who is ragged, becomes a senior in due course of time and then the same person becomes the tormentor, Banerjee submitted that the university authorities have failed to keep vigil and take measures to stop this from happening.

The court asked whether there are any statutes regulating the rules for residence in the university's hostel, saying that normally first year students are kept in a separate block and have to vacate the same on completion of the first year course and move to another block for seniors.

Banerjee submitted that UGC guidelines state the same, which also directs that no outsider is allowed to enter the freshers' hostel block after 8 pm.

Banerjee submitted that CCTV cameras were installed on the university campus in 2012, resulting in the gherao of the then vice-chancellor by a section of students and his consequent resignation.

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