University directed to pay Rs 1 lac each to 226 Sikkimese students
Gangtok, 22 Jul:
The High Court of Sikkim today imposed Rs. 2.26 crore fine on the IK Gujral Punjab Technical University and directed the University to pay a sum of Rs.1 lakh each to the 226 petitioner students by 31 August 2019 and submit report before the next hearing.
226 Sikkimese students who pursued BATHM (Airlines, Tourism and Hospitality Management) and Bachelor in Management Studies [Spa, Health and Resort] courses at ITFT Chandigarh which was under IK Gujral Punjab Technical University during 2013-15 had approached the High Court in 2016 seeking court directions and recognition of their degrees by the University Grants Commission.
While passing the order, Justice Meenakshi Madan Rai pulled up the University for the total ineptitude and cavalier attitude adopted by them towards the circumstance of the petitioner students adding that as a result of their inaction the petitioners are in limbo and their future in jeopardy.
The court said that despite several standing orders of the court, specific warnings are being flouted by the University and not being taken with the seriousness the case deserves.
Even after having been given the green signal by the UGC for protecting the interest of the students, the university has failed to take steps as directed for which the university shall be liable to compensate each student, the court further noted.
Registrar of the university, Dr. S. S. Walia, has been directed to be present in person before the Court on the next date. Further, if IK Gujral Punjab Technical University fails to comply with the order dated 15 May 2019 by the next hearing, the High Court shall be compelled to initiate necessary legal action against them for disobedience of the orders.
Senior Counsel, A K Upadhayaya representing the respondent University, in its submission, had stated that there was no direction by the Court to submit compliance report in its order dated 15-05-2019.
This, the court termed “absolutely unacceptable” and “preposterous”.
Once directions are issued by the Court it is a foregone conclusion and expected that compliance thereof or difficulties in compliance should be made known to the Court by filing affidavit to that extent, the court said while passing the order.
It may be recalled that students from Sikkim were sent to study to the University by the State Social Welfare Department. The students later found out that courses offered in the institute were not approved by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
The next hearing is scheduled for 06 Sept.