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Why isn't JNU in court against students blocking admin dept:HC

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The High today asked Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) why it has not yet approached the if access to the administrative block of the varsity was being blocked by students since February 9.

The query was put to JNU's lawyer by Justice V K Rao while hearing a plea by five students of the varsity that they be provided their marksheets and certificates as they want to apply for various courses and jobs.

When the asked the varsity to provide the documents, central standing counsel Monika Arora, appearing for JNU, said that police assistance would be required to enter the administrative block.

"Even the Vice Chancellor is not able to enter his office," she said.

"I am sorry. What is this? Why has the university not come yet? Is this not a grievance of the university? If the university is sitting silent, then I will say just give them the documents," Justice Rao said and asked JNU's lawyer to take instructions on why the varsity has not yet moved court and listed the matter for further hearing on February 20.

Apart from their documents, the five students in their plea have also sought removal of the protesters and restoration of functioning of the varsity's administrative block.

In their plea, filed through advocate Pradeep Arya, they have contended that no protest can be staged within 20 metres of the administrative and academic complexes as per JNU's Academic Rules and Regulations.

The students -- Naveen Kumar Singh, Gaurav Kumar, Chandraveer Singh Bhati, Shivendra Kumar Pandey and Ashish Kumar Singh -- have claimed that since February 9, 2017, 150-200 students have surrounded the admin block to protest against a May 2016 notification of the University Grants Commission as per which there is a limit of eight students per professor for MPhil and PhD courses.

The appellants, who claim to be pursuing MPhil and PhD courses from the varsity, have alleged that the admin block had been locked from outside and inside by the protesting students.

They have sought police protection for varsity officials so that they can enter the administrative block and get the documents which the petitioners want.

To ensure a proper dialogue is held and the varsity

officials are not swamped by large numbers of students showing up for a meeting, the court asked the JNU Students Union (JNUSU) to nominate 3-4 persons who would represent them.

The judge asked JNUSU President Mohit Pandey, who was present in court, to call a joint meeting of all student associations in the JNU to select the persons who would be part of the dialogue with the varsity officials.

Till the representatives are selected, the court modified its previous order restricting students from protesting within 100 metres of the administrative block and listed the matter for further hearing on March 30.

The court was hearing the JNU's plea against the blocking of its administrative block by agitating students.

The varsity also moved an application against yesterday's protests there, saying because of the agitation, which was accompanied with drum beats, outside the admin block, no one could enter the building.

The JNUSU denied holding the protest outside the admin block and said it was done by the Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students Association against the alleged suicide by Dalit scholar Muthu Krishnan.

The court also told the students union that since the JNU's admission policy, based on the University Grants Commission's notification capping seats for MPhil and PhD courses, has been upheld by a judicial order, they should take legal recourse against it instead of agitating.

First Published: Fri, February 17 2017. 16:22 IST