Delhi High Court allows students to register for new semester under old feeUpdated: Jan 24, 2020 22:47 IST
In a relief for the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), the Delhi High Court on Friday allowed students yet to register for the new semester to do so on the older fee rate. Following this, the JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) appealed to all students to register within the next week.
The court added that the burden of paying salaries of contractual workers does not lie on the students, but on the government.
“Government cannot get out of education. Government has to fund public education. The burden of paying the salaries of contractual workers is not on the students. Someone should find the funds,” Justice Rajiv Shakdher said. The court also issued notice to the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD), JNU and University Grants Commission (UGC).
The observation came after additional solicitor general(ASG) Pinky Anand told the court that the fees were revised to pay the salaries of the contractual workers.
The court on Friday was hearing a plea by JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh and other office bearersthat sought for students be allowed to register along the previous fee structure.
Granting this, the court said, “So far as the remaining students are concerned, they need to register within one week as per the old manual. No late fee will be charged from them too.”
Since October 28, 2019, JNU students had been protesting against a new hostel manual, which introduced the fee hike. On December 30, 2019, the administration announced the start of registration for the next semester with the revised fee, following which the JNUSU said they would boycott the process.
“The JNUSU is grateful to the honorable High Court for granting this relief. We wish to appeal to the student community to take registration at old rates within the next week,” the students’ body said.
The ASG told the court that 90% of the students had already registered. She also opposed the request for keeping the new fee structure in abeyance.
To this the court said, “ If 90 per cent have paid, then your financial concerns have been more or less taken care of. Rest of the funds you can arrange. For now engage with students, have a dialogue with them?”
Appearing for the students’ union, senior advocate Akhil Sibal and advocate Abhik Chimni told the court that the inter-hostel administration’s (IHA) October 28, 2019, order amending the hostel manual was “arbitrary”, “malafide” and “illegal”. He said that the entire process of hiking the fee was done in a “tearing hurry” by the varsity, which went ahead and implemented the manual mid-term even as students were involved in talks with the HRD Ministry.
The court sought to know from the ministry whether it can have a dialogue with the students to break the deadlock
The matter would be now heard on February 28.