STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY
The recent events that have transpired at the Army Institute of Law, Mohali, remind us of the growing sense of apathy towards student welfare that seeks to threaten law institutes. In their press release and their petition to the authorities, the students of the institution have expressed some deeply troubling concerns. Not only have the students been facing the brunt of an inefficient and opaque administration, but they have also been barred from collectively airing their grievances owing to the operation of an arbitrary Code of Conduct. This Code of Conduct, as mentioned in their petition, imposes exorbitant penalties for a plethora of actions, including those as innocuous as “taking meals in hostel rooms.” The petition states that this, coupled with the unaccountability of the administration, has led to students being fined excessively and arbitrarily.
Several other issues concerning basic infrastructure, such as the lack of availability of hygienic food, have been highlighted by the students. However, the joint petition that had been submitted to the authorities on the 4th of October, 2019, has not yet received a response. The movement of the students was also sought to be restricted by barricading the hostel building. When the students tried to approach the registrar of the institution, they did not find any redressal as the registrar chose to leave the group of students unaddressed.
The student demands include the election of a representative student body, accountability in administrative decisions, availability of hygienic food, and freedom from unrestricted harassment at the hands of those in power. It must be noted that these are only a reiteration of their basic entitlements, the minimum standards without which the students in an institution cannot fulfill the purpose of their education. Yet, in a law institute, these acquire a special meaning. The concepts of fairness and justice that are expounded in law classrooms cannot be conveniently flouted on the ground.
Thus, the Student Juridical Association (SJA), of the WB National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata, stands in solidarity with the students of Army Institute of Law, Mohali, and respects their sincere and valiant efforts to stand up to the apathy shown by their administration.