Present as well as former students of National Law University, Delhi, have addressed an open letter to the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court and his Companion judges, requesting their intervention in the proposed policy calling for 50% reservation on the basis of domicile.
A notification, to this effect, was issued on 14th January, earmarking 50% of the seats in B.A. LL.B (Hons) and LL.M programmes for students belonging to Delhi.
Opposing the same, the letter states that "apart from greatly jeopardising the national character of our institution, as borne by its very name, the notification also denies to all applicants from the National Capital Region, residential accommodation within the university".
The letter proceeds to highlight the the hardship which will be caused to paternal applicants from across the country as they will no longer be guaranteed access to subsidised hotel facilities. Apart from denying quality education to potential students who might lack the requisite financial resources to reside in the capital, female safety is also jeopardised.
"Furthermore, due to the National Capital Territory's distressing record on female safety, the notification disproportionately impacts potential female applicants, who may be forced to lose out on quality education due to factors beyond their control, worsening the already skewed sex ration prevailing within our university".
The open letter invokes Section 5(j) of the National Law University Act, 2007, which makes it the responsibility of the University "to make such arrangements in respect of residence, discipline and teaching of women students".
The letter goes on to emphasise the inadequate teacher-student ratio as well as infrastructure, and requests the High Court to prevent the dilution of the quality of learning stemming from an increase of the student strength from 83 to 123.
"Our humble prayer is that the Hon'ble Court take such steps as it deems just and necessary for ensuring that the residential nature and national character of our university is not diluted, so as to maintain the high standards of education offered at our institution and to ensure that the same remains accessible to individuals from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, and not merely to those with the good fortune of having lived in a metropolitan city like Delhi, who form but a microscopic minority in our country still."
The letter also states that in the event that the notification is carried to fruition, it would transform the institution from ran "elite" hub of learning to an "elitist" one. Additionally, the "NLU Model" would also be at stake; a means to bring legal education at par with other streams of technical education.