Calcutta HC Dismisses PIL Seeking Measures To Ensure Proper Educational Atmosphere In Jadavpur University

The division bench presided by the Chief Justice said that similar petitions on the same issue will dilute the cause as several petitions have already been entertained by the Calcutta High Court on this.

Calcutta High Court

A Public Interest Litigation was filed seeking measures to ensure a proper educational atmosphere in the Jadavpur University campus in Kolkata. A first-year student from the varsity recently died under mysterious circumstances which sparked a row over a hostile environment in the campus and hostel leading to several arrests. 

A division bench presided over by Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam pointed out that the court has already entertained PILs on various issues concerning the university and this would only lead to diluting the cause as the court has already entertained similar petitions.

The bench reportedly said, "Therefore, we find no grounds to entertain a separate petition at the instance of a petitioner who claims to be a public interest litigant."

The court took exception to a practice by some litigants filing PILs on the basis of newspaper reports only.

Hearing a PIL seeking measures to ensure proper educational atmosphere in the prestigious university, ranked fourth in the country by NIRF (National Institutional Ranking Framework) of the Union government's Ministry of Education, this court had on August 22 directed that the students' unions be impleaded in the matter.

Holding that every institution has a bad patch, the bench had expressed confidence that the situation in the university would improve.

During hearings on Monday, the court said that it granted leave to an alumnus of the university to intervene in the proceedings.

Another PIL on similar issues concerning Jadavpur University was withdrawn by the petitioner's lawyer after the court said that it was not inclined to entertain another petition on the same grounds.

In a different PIL on the issue, the court earlier in the day directed the UGC's counsel to get instructions from the council on the issues brought forward in the matter.

The matter will be heard along with another PIL fixed for hearing on September 5, the court directed.

The counsel appearing for the UGC said that she has received a copy of the petition from the petitioner, but is yet to receive instructions from the council on the issues raised in it.

A 17-year-old undergraduate student died after falling from a second-floor balcony of the main boys' hostel, situated outside the university campus, on August 9. His family alleged that he was a victim of ragging.

(With PTI inputs)