A petition challenging the rules of the recently established National Law University mandating its BA LLB programme to be residential has been dismissed by the Delhi High Court which also refused to look into its fee structure.
A bench of Justice Manmohan rejected the contention raised by a law student that the condition of mandatory residential five years stay at the campus, imposed by NLU, Delhi is not only financially onerous but also illegal and that the Bar Council of India has not made BA, LLB (Hons) a compulsory residential based programme.
On the challenge to the fee structure of the varsity, the bench said no material has been placed on record to show that the fees being charged are not commensurate to the cost that has been incurred on setting up of the varsity.
"The comparison between an old engineering college and a new university college that has recently been set up is just like comparing apples and oranges," it said.
The court said that it is of the view that there is no legal bar in setting up a residential university.
"In fact, it has been left to the discretion of the respondent-university to decide as to whether it wants to have a residential programme for law course or not," the bench said.
It noted that the varsity is an autonomous body established under an Act of the Delhi government and the hostel rules have been approved in the meeting of University's executive council on August 11, 2008.
"Consequently, the respondent-university is entitled in law to offer a residential based BA, LLB (Hons) course," the bench said.
Observing that it is for the university to chose whether it wants to offer a residential or a non-residential LLB course, the bench said the petitioner has the option to choose between a residential university and a university that offers only a LLB day course.
"Petitioner as a law student cannot dictate terms to the university," it said.