The Allahabad High Court has disposed of a suo moto PIL that it had instituted after violent protests caused injuries to many staff members of Lucknow University on July 4, 2018, by issuing temporary guidelines to all state-aided universities. The guidelines were formulated by a committee appointed by the court on July 6 and will remain in effect until the state government and all government-aided universities frame the necessary rules and regulations to ensure a congenial and conducive environment for academic pursuits in institutions of higher learning.
A division bench consisting of Justices Rajesh Singh Chauhan and Vikram Nath had constituted the suo moto PIL after violent protests by a collection of individuals protesting against the rejection of their applications to the university. They alleged that their admission to the post-graduate courses had been denied because they had agitated against the visit of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. In the protests, 10 university staff members were injured, including Proctor Vinod Singh and Chief Provost Sangita Rani.
On July 6, the court had instructed both the Chief Secretary of the State and the Vice-Chancellor of Lucknow University to constitute separate committees to lay down standard guidelines. On September 18, the court instructed the Vice-Chancellor of Lucknow University to examine the report of the committee constituted by the Chief Secretary and submit a comprehensive report to the court.
The court stressed that the recommendations found in the comprehensive report were inclusive and not exhaustive. It instructed the state government and all government-aided universities to frame the appropriate regulations giving effect to these recommendations, and adding any additional ones as they saw fit, by a period of six months. It held that until such regulations are framed, the guidelines found in the comprehensive report will remain in effect:
Guidelines of the Comprehensive Report:
Action to be taken at the level of University Administration:
- The Proctor alongwith his team shall visit all the departments of University on regular intervals and ensure tough measures forsecurity. He should maintain law andorder in the campus by conducting surprise checks.
- By department-wise co-ordination with the Heads of Departments responsibility and administrative work should be allotted to every member of proctorial team.
- Fundamental Security standards should be established for controlling and regulating such incidents in University. Directives should be prepared for permitting entry to the students, teachers and employees of the University.
- Grievance Redressal mechanism should been forced for immediate redressal of the grievances of the students and the employees.
- For ensuring internal security system of theUniversities and making standards, security audit should of the campus should be done in due consultation with PoliceAdministration.
- For successful functioning of the Central mess or other mess of the University hostels, a committee should be constituted so that timeaction could be ensure to deal with theunexpected incidents in the hostels.
- For maintaining peace and discipline in theUniversity the Proctor of the University should make effective protocol and should ensure compliance.
- Student Care System should be established at the level of University and regular efforts should be made for its empowerment.
Action to be taken at the level of state administration/district administration:
- Regular meetings of the State level coordination committee must be ensured so that security standards in the Universities could be effectively implemented.
- The Proctors of State Universities should be delegated with the powers of an Executive Magistrate as under the Criminal Procedural Code on a permanent basis. These powers are conferred to them temporarily only during examination times.
- Universities should be declared Academic/peace zones. Necessary legal action should be taken against whosoever found violating such zones.
- For staging dharna/demonstration by the students, permission from University/District Administration should be made compulsory. Such demonstrations should be banned in University campus and should be permitted only on the places as identified by the DistrictAdministration outside the University.
- Unauthorized entry of the outsiders and expelled students into the University Campus should be kept in the category of Criminal/Trespass and action should be taken under the relevant provisions of Criminal Law Amendment Act/Goonda Act.
- The District Administration should ensure the security audit standards of the campus in due coordination with University Administration.
- Section-144 format should be prepared by police Administration and guidelines should be prepared for its implementation in due consultation with university administration.
- No student group under the banner of any political party should be allowed to enter into the University Campus. Unauthorized dharna/ demonstrations should be prohibited under Section-144 of the Criminal Procedure.