Our reshuffle of grievance panel not infringement of rights: High Court to Delhi University
A bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad, however, allowed one member, Professor SC Rai, of the university’s choice to the newly constituted committee after DU filed an appeal, saying the reconstitution casts aspersions on the eminence of the varsity.Updated: Aug 14, 2020 22:58 IST
The Delhi High Court on Friday came down heavily on Delhi University (DU) for filing a plea challenging the reconstitution of the Grievance Redressal Committee by the single judge of the same court. The court said the reconstitution does not infringe on DU’s rights or reflects badly on the university.
A bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad, however, allowed one member, Professor SC Rai, of the university’s choice to the newly constituted committee after DU filed an appeal, saying the reconstitution casts aspersions on the eminence of the varsity.
On August 7, Justice Pratibha M Singh, while allowing DU to conduct the Open-Book Examination, had reconstituted the Grievance Redressal Committee to “ensure fairness and transparency”.
The reconstituted five-member committee comprises Justice Pratibha Rani (Retd. Judge, Delhi High Court) as chairperson, Professor K S Rao, department of Botany as deputy chairperson, and Professor Kavita Sharma, department of commerce, B B Gupta, senior advocate and Kamal Gupta, advocate, as members.
The court had said the committee will deal with all grievances related to the downloading of question papers, uploading of answer sheets, technical glitches, etc., faced by students during the online examinations.
On Friday, senior advocate Sachin Datta, appearing for DU, told the court that there is an implicit assumption that the old committee of DU would not be transparent. He said DU is a university of eminence where the President of India is a visitor and the Chief justice of Delhi High Court is the pro-vice chancellor.
Datta said it is the question of the integrity of the varsity and it should be allowed to function. He said people who are not even associated with DU are a part of the committee.
“Let my old committee to operate otherwise it would prevent the university to discharge its duties,” he said.
To this, the court replied, “Don’t take it amiss. There is no ego battle. The new members would be adding value to the committee”. “Why are you worried if a retired judge is helping you? Why are you fighting shy to have this grievance cell which it also has your members?
“Why are you feeling threatened? Did you let the committee work even for a day? It took you seven days to approach the court….Things have not gone properly for many students and we are forced to say this. Is it correct that during the examinations one of the email ids on which students were to mail answer scripts was not working?
The DU counsel said there was a problem but it was rectified immediately. He said all queries to the committee were not complaints.
“We have much to say about your examinations. Your preparedness has been questioned thrice and it is only after that you have been able to manage to take the exams…You have not been able to satisfy in the preparedness,” the court said.
After the arguments, the court proposed that it would allow one member of DU’s choice, who was a part of the erstwhile committee, to be part of the present one. The counsel took Professor Ajay Arora’s name.
The court rejected this proposal and said asked him to choose someone who is not a part of tier one of the Grievance Cell. The university then chose Prof SC Rai.