The dispiriting and intimidating events which have transpired at Hidayatullah National Law University (HNLU), Raipur over the past few days are exasperating not only for the student community of HNLU but also for the legal fraternity across all the National Law Universities (NLUs).
We empathize with the students of HNLU and their struggle against the capricious actions of their administration. It is agonizing to witness the whimsical actions of the administration in imposing unreasonable campus and library curfews, the absolute absence of transparency and accountability and the illegitimate extension of the Vice Chancellor’s tenure, the illegality of which has been affirmed by the Hon’ble High Court of Chhattisgarh. While students, in pursuance of their academic integrity, have decided to resume their classes after meeting the newly appointed interim VC, their protestation has not been met with any concrete assurances as a result of which the protestation continues with polite disobedience of the curfews and active demonstrations.
We also wish to take this opportunity to extend our solidarity to the students of all the other NLUs who are confronting similar arbitrary administrative issues in terms of their academic regulations. The demands raised by the students of HNLU pertain to common administrative problems tormenting the NLUs at large. Till date, student bodies of almost ten NLUs have come down in protests against their respective administrations.
Given these set of events, the student bodies of NLSIU, NALSAR and NUJS would like to recall and emphasize their previously released statement calling for the nationalisation and grant of Institutes of National Importance (INI) status to NLUs. This would ensure a centralization of administration and accountable systems across all the law schools in India, leading to uniform administrative regulations, academic standards and centralized funding. We implore for the same, yet again.
We also reiterate the founding idea of National Law Universities which were created as ‘islands of legal excellence’ to build a generation of ‘social engineers’. However, in the absence of efficient administration coupled with a lack of systematic accountability forces, students in most of the NLUs are burdened with the responsibility to initiate basic reforms and maintain constant vigil over administrative decisions. This fight for minimum standards and a right to decent education leaves the students too drained and disillusioned to be of any use to the society.
Therefore, we the students of NALSAR, NLSIU, NUJS, NLUD, NLUJ and NLIU stand in complete solidarity with our counterparts at HNLU and wholeheartedly support the courageous stand taken by them. We respect their sincere and valiant efforts to stand up against the arbitrary and regressive behaviour of their administrations.