HC takes serious note of IKGPTU’s callous attitude

Gangtok, 12 Nov:

The High Court of Sikkim has warned of heavy costs against the Dean Academics, IK Gujral Punjab Technical University, for what the Court has viewed as callous attitude in responding to the writ petition filed by students from Sikkim who had pursued BATHM (Airlines, Tourism and Hospitality Management) and Bachelor’s in Spa, Health and Resort Management courses in Chandigarh in 2013-15.

Justice Meenakshi Madan Rai, while recording the decision to impose costs, termed the University’s inaction was ‘callous attitude’ despite several warnings for not putting forth a specific response in affidavit, adding that if the respondent University fails to put forth a specific response, it would be liable to pay costs of Rs. One lakh to the petitioning students.

The High Court’s serious view was expressed when the said University’s senior counsel, AK Upadhayaya, informed the Court that response from University was not received in time because the documents had been dispatched through courier and had not been delivered to them.

“It is seen that the shipment was booked from Tanda on 30.10.2018 and was received in Delhi on 01.11.2018 and has therefore not arrived here. This is an indication of the callous attitude adopted by the Respondent University towards the situation of the matter at hand despite a specific warning by the Court on the last date that should response not be filed, they would be liable to costs,” the court observed.

Several students from Sikkim had pursued the BATHM (Bachelor’s in Airlines, Tourism and Hospitality Management) and Bachelor in Spa, Health and Resort Management at the said institution. They were sent there for higher studies by the State Social Welfare Department.

These students are now contending that the course offered by the institution was not approved by the University Grants Commission (UGC), thus affecting their studies and once the notification giving out the benefits for particular courses was issued by the government, there was no reason to disbelieve the status of the respondent university or that pursuing a course there would deprive them of opportunities for advance education and employment.

The Court has fixed the next date of hearing for 14 November, Wednesday.