Published: 05th September 2023
Calcutta HC asks Bengal edu dept to complete pending students’ council elections
The court also asked the education department to take action against universities and colleges where anti-ragging committees with representation of all stakeholders are not formed
The Calcutta High Court (HC) ordered the West Bengal Education Department to conclude the ongoing polls for student councils in all state universities and institutions affiliated with different universities as soon as possible. This order was given today, Tuesday, September 5.
A division bench of Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharya directed the education department to immediately identify universities and colleges where student council elections are still pending and send directives to their authorities to complete the election process promptly.
The court has also requested that the state government provide a progress report on this count in the form of an affidavit at the earliest, reports IANS.
The Chief Justice's division bench also directed the state education department to identify universities and other educational institutions where anti-ragging committees with representation from all stakeholders are yet to be formed and to take immediate action to establish such committees.
The order on this count is seen as particularly important in light of the recent death of Swapnadeep Kundu, a fresher at Jadavpur University on August 10.
A public interest lawsuit brought by Sayan Banerjee, a lawyer for the Calcutta High Court, was being heard by the bench. The petitioner noted that elections for students' councils in a number of institutions and universities have been ongoing since 2017 when the court ordered that all elected students' councils should have representation in the anti-ragging committees in their respective institutes.
The Chief Justice then inquired as to who was in charge of the prompt conclusion of the elections for the student council. The petitioner then stated that only after receiving the required guidance from the state department of education could the administrators of educational institutions hold elections.