Courts to Not Manage Affairs of Private Universities: Chhattisgarh HC
High Court of Chhattisgarh in Sejal Makkad & others v. Amity University held that it cannot interfere in the administration of a private university wherein the university has established a committee for addressing and resolving concerns of students upon making a written application to the committee.
A Single-judge bench of Justice Goutam Bhaduri held:
The respondent No. 1 is a private University. This Court cannot sit as an unit head of the university on administrative side to manage the affairs of the university and pass a blanket order for payment of fees by installments. The individual student and his incapacity to pay the fees at one go is required to be considered which may have different parameters. When the university has already formed the committee to resolve and look into the issue, it is expected that university would look into the individual cases, in case the students approach the committee. It is therefore directed that student if wants to approach the committee he may do within 2 weeks. In such eventuality the committee shall decide the applications of the students within 10 days according to their policy in sympathetic manner.
The petitioners are the students of the respondent university and approached the court praying for relaxation of fees for the next semester while additionally seeking that the payment of the fess should be permitted to be made in two installments i.e., one on 22.07.2021 and the other on 30.10.2021. The reason behind seeking such relief being the ongoing pandemic and their parents strained financial situation.
The respondents contended stating the existence of a grievance redressal committee for its students. The counsel of the respondent, additionally communicated to the court that the university has decided to exempt the fees of students who have lost their parents to COVID-19. The respondent counsel called upon the students to approach the committee within 2 weeks through an application expressing their inability to deposit the fees owing to financial constraints.
Upon hearing both the parties, the Court held:
This court cannot accept the collective enthusiasm of students and make fumbling effort and order for payment of fees by installment for all students.
In conclusion, the court suggested that in the event that the students desire, they may approach the grievance-redressal committee and disposed of the petition.
Rasmita Behera | Research Intern | EduLegaL
Swapna Iyer | Legal Editor | EduLegaL