24 January 2020
New Delhi: Granting interim relief to the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University, the Delhi High Court on Friday observed that "government has to fund public education".
"The government has to fund public education. In public universities, the burden of paying salaries to contractual workers can't be put on students. It's the responsibility of the government to find funds," said Justice Rajiv Shakdar.
The observations came after Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand told the court that the decision to revise fee in JNU was taken after instructions from the University Grants Commission (UGC).
She further told the court that JNU has already waived off service and utility charges earlier paid by the students and that it would now be borne by the UGC.
Anand also said that 90 per cent students had already registered as per the new hostel manual. Responding to this, the judge said, "When you don't have a choice, what do you do?"
The court was hearing a plea filed by JNU Students Union (JNUSU) members, including its President Aishe Ghose, Vice President Saket Moon and others, seeking direction of the court to restrain the JNU administration from imposing late fees on students for registrations for the winter semester.
The plea also sought directions restraining the varsity from taking any action which would give effect to the draft hostel manual.
After hearing both the sides, Shakdar ruled, "As far as the remaining 10 per cent students are concerned, they need to register within one week as per the old manual. No late fee will be charged from them."
The court has now posted the matter for hearing on February 28.