PEACEFUL PROTEST AGAINST INJUSTICE AT RGNUL (MESSAGE FORWARDED BY RGNUL STUDENTS)
When it’s the administration of a National Law University, the self-proclaimed islands of legal excellence, which foments injustice, it is a sad day. The victims of such injustice are not only the immediately affected students, but the legal fraternity and the nation at large.
On the evening of 13th March, a collective of Boys students across batches, numbering into hundreds held a protest in the mess over the bad quality of food which had been persisting for long.
On the 15th, 6 students were identified, harassed and suspended from the campus – all that with a mere 3 days to go before the mid-semester exams.
It is imperative to note that no hearing was conducted, and the order of suspension was passed wrongfully – by the Administrative Officer whereas a penalty of suspension can only be passed by the Vice Chancellor.
Moreover, phones have been confiscated, through coercion have been unlocked, private messages breached and upon insisting that fundamental rights of privacy are being violated, the Faculty responded with abuses and stating that the students are in no position to teach them the Law. All of this in an institution committed to upholding natural justice.
This behavior of the University Administration has precedence. This is not the first time RGNUL Administration has behaved in a dictatorial manner but is one in a series of occurrences.
We appeal to the authorities that the six students wrongfully suspended be, during the pendency of their inquiry, be reinstated hostel and campus privileges.
To that extent, since 8:15 PM the 15th of March, hundreds of students have been holding a peaceful silent protest in front of the Guest House in solidarity with the suspended students.
We appeal to you to extend your moral support and share our cause.
Lawctopus high-lighted many similar issues at RGNUL back in 2012. Read more here.
A copy of the letter issued by the student body is below:
This representation has been drafted by the students of the University in order to bring to notice of the authorities, the multifarious discrepancies in the functioning of the administration here. Yet another incident has surfaced reflecting the arbitrariness, indifference, and ineffectiveness of the university administration towards the issues of student interest.
On the evening of 13th March, occupants of the boys’ hostel, numbering into hundreds, held a protest in the mess over the bad quality of food which has persisted even after numerous official complaints to the concerned authorities.
On the 15th, 6 students were arbitrarily isolated, harassed and suspended from the campus.
It is imperative to note that no proper hearing was conducted, and the order of suspension was passed arbitrarily and wrongfully by the Administrative Officer in the absence of the Vice Chancellor.
Moreover, the phone of one of the students was confiscated, through coercion and was unlocked enabling them access to private messages and media files.
Upon insisting that the fundamental right of privacy is being violated, the Faculty shamelessly and unreasonably responded with abuses and stated that the students are in no position to teach them the Law.
This unfortunate behavior of the University Administration is of no surprise and has several precedents.
This is not the first time RGNUL Administration has behaved in a dictatorial manner, but is only one in a series of similar occurrences. This protest has not been triggered due to any singular incident and has in fact been caused by the last straw on a haystack. The same has been detailed as follows.
1. Inadequate representation of the students in the decision-making process of the university.
2. Discriminatory implementation of the rules regarding actual practise in the timings of hostels.
3. Lack of transparency in Administration.
4. Sexist remarks of administrators.
Each and every student on the campus is aware of the unfortunate sexist attitude of the administration in general and especially reflected in the ill-behaviour of the administrative officer, Mr. S.P. Singh.
5. Discriminatory and unreasonable timings of library.
The female students are unreasonably denied access to the library beyond the hostel timings even during examinations.
6. Extra restrictions on mobility of girls within the hostels.
Inter-block movement of the female students within the hostel is restricted.
7. Incompetent faculty.
Also, the Teacher Evaluation Forms are ineffective.
8. Misuse and flagrant violations of the RGNUL Act and Student regulations and the brochure.
9. Misuse of University resources.
10. Indifference to the sexual harassment complaints both on-campus and in its vicinity.
11. Poor and ever degrading food quality in both hostels.
We wish to emphasize that this representation only addresses the initial, broad concerns prevalent in the university and requires urgent actions on your behalf.
We look forward to your timely intervention in this regard.
Student Association, RGNUL.
Historic morning at RGNUL. Hundreds of students slept on the road for the whole of night. The careless and pathetic attitude has been showcaused by administration. As a result, we stand united until our demands are not fulfilled. #JusticeForRGNUL pic.twitter.com/vbAzJEUU6W
— Dheeraj Awasthi 🇮🇳 (@DheerajAwasth9) March 16, 2019
Finally, after bearing innumerous draconian restrictions and unreasonable suspension, Students of RGNUL has decided to raise their voice and this time it can’t be trampled and suppressed. #RGNULAGAINSTARBITRARINESS @IndiaToday @timesofindia @htTweets @TheQuint @abpnewstv @ndtv pic.twitter.com/lOSFFIF054
— RGNUL STUDENT COUNCIL (@CouncilRgnul) March 15, 2019
These issues are not specific to RGNUL though RGNUL seems to be leading the ‘sexist and opaque’ group. If RGNUL has been called ‘Talibanistic’, NUJS Kolkata has been called ‘Kafesque’.
This piece will be updated as and when more information is received.