Published: 12th July 2018
If evicted by HC, 127-year-old Madras law college students to seek help at SC
The students of Dr Ambedkar Law College, Chennai are fighting to study in their heritage campus which recently got bifurcated to Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur
After struggling for the last couple of years, the students of Dr Ambedkar Government Law College, Chennai will probably head to the Supreme Court, in a desperate bid to stay in their heritage campus in Parry's Corner, near the Madras High Court.
Even as the High Court is set to deliver its verdict on whether the students can continue to study at the present campus or move, the students are mentally preparing to move to the Supreme Court next. The law students had gone to court seeking its intervention in the issue - they had filed a petition to prevent their college from getting shifted to Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur They hoped the court would allow the students to continue their education in the existing campus, enroll the new students in the old campus and allow the student representatives to be a part of the college shifting committee. However, it looks like the High Court has been leaning towards the government's stand of bifurcating the college. "The topmost college, National Law School University, Bengaluru, is two hours away from the Karnataka High Court, so is NALSAR in Hyderabad,” said Advocate-General Vijay Narayan recently, while opposing students' pleas.
Throwback Thursday: A still from the infamous clash | Express Photo
The debate of bifurcating the college began in 2008, after two groups of law students violently clashed with each other, resulting in an incident of bloodbath. Following this, a committee headed by Justice P Shanmugam suggested a trifurcation of the college into three campuses in Chennai like Tambaram, Poonamalle, Ennore and Tiruvallur.
"We are fine if the college authorities go by the recommendation of Shanmugham Committee. Now, with the latest decision, there are many factors like distance, safety, cost and practical knowledge involved," says Srika S, a second year LLB student. "It costs a student at least Rs 150-200 to travel everyday to the new campus, which is not affordable for many who are from poor economic backgrounds. Also, since our old campus is near the Madras HC, it is easier for us to view and observe the practical proceedings," she says.
Even though the new college campuses are yet to be approved, students tell us that only 150 out the 2300 students showed up on the first day of the academic year, that began on July 9. But on the other hand, Advocate General Vijay Narayan told the Madras High Court on Monday that around 28% of the students turned up on the first day, which was better than the previous years.