Published: 12th May 2021
Did JNU violate Delhi HC order by not inviting magistrates to meeting on COVID-19 care setup on campus?
Justice Prathiba M Singh had asked the Registrar to immediately give instructions to the counsel, and file a status report and convene two meetings
The Delhi High Court, after criticising the Jawaharlal Nehru University for not reacting with "swiftness and alacrity" to the rising number of COVID-19 cases on campus and ignoring demands for taking steps that were put forward by the students and the teachers, had also asked the university to hold two meetings — one between the top administration and the SD/ADM and the other with the students, teachers and the magistrates. But the SDM or the ADM were allegedly not even called for the second meeting today.
"The SDM or the ADM were not present at the meeting and I will highlight the issue in court tomorrow when the matter is heard," said Dr Moushumi Basu, Secretary of the JNU Teachers' Association. A source at the university who was in touch with the SDM said that he (SDM) has not got an invite to join a virtual meeting from the university. But the SDM has not confirmed the fact yet. We have reached out to him and the copy will be updated as soon as he gets back. The copy will also be updated with the administration's comments as and when they reply.
Saket Moon, the Vice-President of the JNU Students' Union said that even though their proposals were heard, the administration did not say anything about their plans. "The court asked us to discuss the matter but there was no discussion. We merely told them our proposal which had already been submitted to them," he added.
Justice Prathiba M Singh had asked the Registrar to immediately give instructions to the counsel, and file a status report on what steps were taken on the requests made especially since April 13, 2021. The university was also asked to set up two meetings. "The Registrar shall convene a meeting today itself at 5 pm, chaired by the Vice-Chancellor along with the other internal administrative staff as also the concerned SDM/ADM of the area, to work out the formalities and the protocols, in this respect," said the order.
While the first meeting was conducted, the teachers drew attention to the second meeting where they said the magistrates or anyone from the local administration were not present. "A second meeting shall also be convened by the Registrar chaired by the Vice-Chancellor, other administrative staff, SDM/ADM concerned along with six representatives of the Students and the Teachers Union, as also the departments which have given the proposals, at 11 am tomorrow —May 12, 2021, to discuss the said proposals/ letters for setting up of a COVID care facility in the JNU campus. The said meetings can be held through a virtual platform," the judge had said. The next hearing is tomorrow and the court will decide whether this will be considered a violation of court order.