Delhi High Court dismissed the PIL filed by Praveen Kumar Singh seeking directions to be given to the Delhi University for ensuring hostel accommodation to students. The petitioner had invoked section 33 of the Delhi University Act, 1922, which states that every student of University shall reside in the College Hall or under such circumstances as prescribed by the Ordinances.
The petitioner had argued that the literal reading of section 33 shows that there's an obligation on the University to ensure accommodation to all its students. Highlighting that there are a large number of students who are not provided with hostels or any other housing assistance, the petitioner had prayed the following:
The Bench comprising of Chief Justice Patel and Justice Shankar dismissed the petition by declaring that there is no statutory obligation on the University to provide hostel accommodation to all students under section 33 of the DU Act. It opined that such an interpretation is not economically viable as it would cost the University crores of rupees.
The court also pointed out that it is not incumbent upon the present judicial body to regulate prices in the University canteen. It's a policy issue that has to be looked at by the competent authority itself.
While the court did urge the University to endeavour towards providing hostel accommodation to students with financial constraints, it very categorically pointed out that no explicit directions are being issued in that regard. Constructing new hostels require budgeting and land allocation and the same has to be considered by the University and cannot be directed by the court, the Bench noted.