Outsiders should be barred from entering the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus for things to improve there, the Delhi High Court said on Wednesday, noting students from other varsities are “more active” and interfering in its functioning.
“We have to shut down the campus for the students of other universities. If JNU campus is closed for outsiders, things will improve,” Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva observed.
“Everyday we are reading in the newspaper about protests in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus,” the court said and asked the varsity and the Jawaharlal University Students Union (JNUSU) President, present in the court, that “is this the way an educational institution functions”.
“I want that a meaningful dialogue between students and the college administration should take place so that the things are settled within the boundaries,” the judge said.
The court further said that today students from other universities interfere in the functioning of JNU and they force their political agenda inside the campus.
“JNU from last many decades was known for its own culture inside the campus. It never allowed others to interfere in their functioning, but today the outsiders are more active in this campus,” the court noted.
Only the bona fide students of JNU should be allowed to decide how their university will function, it added.
The court’s observation came during hearing of a plea by the JNU administration seeking direction to restrain its students from staging any demonstration within 100 metres of the administrative block.
The court had on March 17 modified its order restraining students from protesting within 100 metres of the block and directed that protests, if any, should be peaceful and not block lanes or roads leading to the administrative block.
JNU’s counsel Monika Arora sought “immediate indulgence of the court” while highlighting that on March 23 the students had staged a dharna, burnt the effigy of the Vice Chancellor right outside the administrative block and blocked entry and exit of university officials.
It has sought a direction to the JNU students and its union body to return the CCTV cameras, installed near the entry gate of the campus hostel, allegedly taken away by them.
This was, however, opposed by the JNUSU president, saying they have not removed the cameras.
He further said the college administration has not consulted them while installing the cameras and was trying to keep surveillance on them through this.
To which the court asked the student union leader and its general secretary, why are they afraid of surveillance.
“If you (JNU students) are not doing anything wrong, why are you afraid of the CCTV camera?” the court asked, adding that privacy of the students will not be compromised.
It, meanwhile, asked the JNU administration to restrain themselves from installing CCTV cameras in the sensitive areas of the campus.
The court also asked the JNUSU President to discuss their problems with the college administration so that issues are sorted out.
It said that if the court has reposed some faith in the students, they should also abide by the court’s direction.
The court has now listed the matter for May 12, by when it has asked the parties to file status report with regard to the outcome of the meeting.
The court’s earlier directions were issued on JNU’s plea against the blocking of its administrative department by the agitating students.
Earlier, during hearing of the plea, the court had suggested the JNUSUpresident and the administration to have a meaningful dialogue among them, which may lead to resolution of several problems.