Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) has moved the Delhi High Court in order to challenge the amendments made to the Hostel Manual by the University administration.
Filed by JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh, Vice President Saket Moon, General Secretary Satish Chandra Yadav, and Joint Secretary Md Danish, the petition challenges the decision of the Inter Hostel Administration by citing it as malafide, arbitrary, illegal and adversely affecting the student community.
Amendments to the Hostel Manual include an increase in hostel fee, affecting the rights of those in reserved categories vis a vis allocation of hostel rooms and also reduce the representation of the JNUSU in the IHA amongst several other changes.
The petition has also challenged the Minutes of IHA Meeting which states that mess services, sanitation services, room charges, amongst others category of charges will be increased by 10% every Academic Year.
Petitioners have stated that the IHA gave a notice regarding the meeting to the student representatives, only 30 minutes prior to its commencement.
It is argued that this action of the Chairperson of the IHA insured that the IHA was held with no student representation, defeating the mandate of the Hostel Manual of including the views of the stakeholders when changing the provisions of the Hostel Manual.
The student body, thereafter, made multiple representations to the University Administration regarding the procedural violations. However, it is alleged, that the University refused to take any action and also went on to ratify the meeting.
It is highlighted in the petition, that the report of a High Level Committee which was constituted later, and which had also suggested changes to the Hostel Manual, is also illegal.
The Petitioners have cited the Merit-cum-Means Scholarship programme, which provides scholarship to students whose income does not
exceed INR 2, 50,000, to argue that the students who fall under the category of merit cum means scholarship benefited from a reduced rate in terms of Hostel room rent. Now, this right has been retracted due to the illegal decision making of IHA, EC and HLC.
JNUSU has also questioned the introduction of Below Poverty Line (BPL) category in the University. It argues that the meeting fails to explain how the BPL is being made applicable to the students of the University. No clarity has been even provided in the amended IHA or the minutes of the EC on how this categorization will take place.
Therefore, the Petitioners have submitted that the amended hostel manual violates the provisions of the JNU Act, 1966. By citing it as illegal, Petitioners have also asked for setting aside of the Minutes of IHA's meeting, and directions for a new meeting to be reconvened.