25 Sep 2023 1:15 PM GMT
The Delhi High Court has said that the Ordinance of the Universities for self-regulation cannot override a student’s right to education and the right to live a life with human dignity.Justice Purushaindra Kumar Kaurav observed that the Universities should not be rigid while taking decisions in those cases where cogent reasons are given by students for seeking migration.The court was hearing...
The Delhi High Court has said that the Ordinance of the Universities for self-regulation cannot override a student’s right to education and the right to live a life with human dignity.
Justice Purushaindra Kumar Kaurav observed that the Universities should not be rigid while taking decisions in those cases where cogent reasons are given by students for seeking migration.
The court was hearing a plea moved by two students studying in two different colleges affiliated by Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University seeking inter college migration.
One of the students pursuing BBA from Maharaja Surajmal Institute of Technology sought transfer on the ground that the college was more than 30 kms away from her residence and that she was facing difficulty since she was allergic to dust, animal dander or pollen.
The other student was studying in Agrasen Institute of Management Studies and readily agreed for interchange of the institutions in order to help the former.
They were aggrieved by a notification issued by the varsity on July 13 last year whereby Ordinance 7, which is related to migration of students, was amended and a complete ban was imposed with respect to intra and inter university migration.
Justice Kaurav said that prima facie, a complete ban on migration was placed on account of the recommendations of University’s expert committee and the same did not seem to be arbitrary or illegal.
“However, there can always be an exception to the aforesaid position, depending upon the facts of an individual case, particularly in cases of medical emergencies. The competent authority cannot be oblivious to the ground realities which may arise. This appears to be a case where a more pragmatic approach needs to be adopted instead of being rigid to general rule,” the court added.
Observing that Universities endowed with statutory discretion may legitimately adopt general rules or principles to guide itself as to the manner of exercising its own discretion in extraordinary circumstances, the court said: “Therefore, the Universities should not be rigid while taking decisions in the cases where cogent reasons are given by the students for seeking migration.”
Furthermore, the court said that the students deserve quality higher education in considering atmosphere within available resources and devoiding them of the same, due to medical ailments that are beyond their control, will tantamount to doing a “disservice to the future of this country.”
“It is incumbent upon educational institutions to make the necessary allowances to ensure that students, who are disadvantaged due to medical reasons, are also provided quality education. Therefore, the Ordinance of the Universities for self-regulation cannot override a student’s right to education and the right to live a life with human dignity,” the court said.
It added that the Universities should consider extraordinary circumstances of the students and consider their application if there exists valid and justifiable reasons providing reasonable justification. Else the exercise of discretionary power would stand vitiated for unreasonableness and arbitrariness, the court said.
While disposing of the plea, Justice Kaurav directed the Vice Chancellor of GGSIPU to take a decision in the matter within six week.
The court said that if the Vice Chancellor comes to a conclusion that the grievance of both the petitioners was genuine and their request was acceptable, the same be accepted without being influenced by last year’s notification.
Senior Advocate Alok Kumar, alongwith Advocates Manisha A. Narain, Amit Kr. Singh, Varun Maheshwari and Manan Soni appeared for the petitioners.
Advocates Avishkar Singhvi, Naved Ahmed and Vivek Kr. Singh appeared for Delhi Government. Advocates Apoorv Kurup and Kirti Dadheech appeared for UGC. Advocate Anita Sahani appeared for GGSIPU.
Case Title: MISS TANISHKA v. ANR v. GNCTD & ORS.
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Del) 888
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