Published: 23rd September 2019
NLS students call off first no-exam boycott in 31 years after an alumnus steps up. Here's why
After a meeting with the Chief Justice and Justice Bobde, an alumnus has assured the students that there was some miscommunication in the matter
Students of the National Law School of India called off their three-day boycott after being assured that due process would be following in the appointment of the VC. The students have been boycotting classes since Friday due to discrepancies in the appointment of the VC. On Monday afternoon, the students were told that the Sub-Committee was aware of all the facts and had come to a due decision and there was nothing left in the process.
The Student Bar Association had gotten in touch with Gopal Sankaranarayanan to try and speak to the Chief Justice of India who is the Chancellor of the University. "We have received communication from an alumnus who sought an audience with Justice SA Bobde (who was part of the Sub-Committee tasked with recommending the next VC) that the recommendations of the subcommittee report had been approved. We have also been informed that the decision of the Executive Council would be upheld," a student said, "Therefore since we have achieved our goal that is, for due process to be followed, we will be calling off the boycott."
The students will be resuming their daily activities from tomorrow morning itself and will write their exams, "Since our demand has been fulfilled, there is nothing more that the CJI could have given us," a student said. A statement from the Student Bar Association read, "We assure them that we have faith in the process and the wisdom of their Lordships, and we will respect the Chancellor's decision when it comes. Our actions were not targeted at any single individual or institution but were driven by a moral concern regarding the delay in the appointment of the VC."
Just Cause: The students boycotted classes but kept studying and preparing for their exams.
Gopal Sankaranarayanan, an alumnus from the batch of 2001 issued a statement to the students and alumni of the University after his meeting with the Chief Justice and Justice Bobde. In response to the concerns of the students and professors on campus, the response of the Chief Justice and Justice Bobde was this — "It appears that there has been a lot of misinformation that has done the rounds. All responses of the Executive Council members have been received and nothing is left on that front. Only a formal decision is to be taken by the CJI in the exercise of the consultation power, which will be out shortly. It was the clear understanding of the Sub-Committee that they were taking the final decision as delegated, and this was merely to be communicated to the Executive Council."
The Judges were also not happy with the fact that the students had taken it upon themselves to conduct the strike when they don't actually have a say in the appointment, but the alumnus in his statement said, "I mentioned that this was mainly due to the conduct of the administration which had been unhelpful." The students had written a number of letters to their offices but had not received a response, however, Gopal was granted a meeting.
The statement also made a mention of a reservation being felt by the judges with regard to the upcoming convocation due to the student protests. But the alumnus assured them that there would be no protests regarding this issue. "It is now over to the Student Bar Association to do what is appropriate and best in the interests of the students," he had said. Subsequently, the student body called off the strike and are preparing to resume classes from tomorrow.