The Delhi High Court Wednesday sought response of the JNU on a plea by two Ph.D students to quash the orders demanding hostel and mess fees for April to August, when they had vacated the premises due to COVID-19 pandemic, and to allow them to register in the monsoon semester.
Justice Jayant Nath issued notice to Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Delhi government on the petition and asked them to file their replies.
Prachi Bansal and Vaishali Bansal said in the plea that the university was not allowing them to register for the monsoon semester, by arbitrarily withholding their hostel clearance and they would not be able to continue with their academic works if their registration is not allowed.
Advocates Abhik Chimni and Mayank Goyal, said that on March 19, a notice was issued by JNU asking students to vacate the hostel rooms and now they were not allowed to access hostel rooms to carry out the academic work.
They said the university is also demanding them to pay the fees for the months when they did not reside in the JNU campus from April to August.
The counsel said the decision to continue charging mess fees and other charges is arbitrary in nature and claimed that the act of authorities is illegal and contrary to hostel rules.
Advocate Monika Arora, representing JNU, said it is a working women self financed hostel and the petitioner students are getting HRA from the government.
She said in case they have financial difficulty and their scholarships have been closed, the authorities will consider any representation made by them as per law.
Otherwise, before the monsoon session, they will have to clear the dues, Arora said.
Registration for the monsoon session began from September.
On being asked about the monthly hostel fees, the court was informed that it is Rs 7,500.
As an interim relief, the two students sought direction to the varsity to allow them to access their allotted hostel rooms and also their registration for the next semester.
On this, the high court said the students are free to deposit the entire fees without prejudice to their rights and this will be subject to the outcome of this petition.
It also said the students are free to access the hostel to remove their belongings, with prior intimation to the authorities, in accordance with rules.
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