NLIU Director Takes Voluntary Leave; Fact Finding Committee To Probe Students' Allegations

NLIU Director Takes Voluntary Leave; Fact Finding Committee To Probe Students

In what is being celebrated as a triumph by the students of National Law Institute University, Bhopal, the Director Prof. (Dr.) S.S. Singh has taken voluntary leave from the college, bowing down to the mounting pressure in view of continued protests being staged by students.

A fact finding committee has also been constituted to look into the allegations against Prof. Singh. All the students would be given an opportunity to raise their grievances before this committee, which will submit its report by 25 December.

The Committee comprises of Additional Chief Secretary of the State Higher Education Department and the Principal Secretary of the State Law & Legislative Affairs Department. It is required to "suggest measures to address the grievances of the students and improve the Administration/ Management of the Institution including examination and evaluation procedures".

The decision to constitute the Committee was taken during a meeting held in the chambers of Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court Hemant Gupta. Also in attendance were Justice J.K. Maheshwari, Advocate General Purushendra Kaurav, Senior Advocate V.K. Tankha, Principal Secretary of the State Law & Legislative Affairs Department A.M. Saxena and a delegation of NLIU students.

During this meeting, it was also decided that Ms. Giribala Singh, Additional District & Sessions Judge, Bhopal would be appointed as the College Registrar w.e.f 16 November. Besides, the process of appointment of the new Director has been decided to be expedited, as Prof. Singh's tenure will end in six months.

The protests

"Bacche hai hum, kaidi nahi;

College hai ye, jail nahi!"

With this slogan, the students of NLIU had taken to the streets to protest against the college administration "as a result of outrage over the lack of transparency and accountability of the authorities as well as the unchecked maladministration".

In the same vein, they had demanded resignation of their Director, accusing him of corruption and claiming that he had perpetuated a "despotic regime". They had cited multiple instances of the Director having indulged in moral policing and making sexist comments against female students. He had further been accused of instigating "hatred against the scheduled castes and tribes, in addition to looking down on them".

The NLIU student body had also written a letter to the Chief Justice Hemant Gupta, who is the Chairman of the College's General Council, informing him of administrative apathy in resolving several issues at the law school. Their letter had demanded examination system reforms, teaching reforms and attendance system reforms in addition to infrastructural improvements.

Prof. Singh's leave comes as a surprise as until today, the administration had not shown any signs of relenting, and was instead accused of using 'intimidation tactics'. However, with the Committee having been constituted, regular classes will commence from tomorrow.