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Statement of Solidarity with the students of RGNUL Patiala: NLU students consortium

In the light of the recent disturbing developments emerging from RGNUL, Patiala including the now infamous 'arbitrary' suspension of 6 students (Source:Bar and Bench) the students of RGNUL in a representation to the Chancellor have demanded along with the revocation of the suspension order issued on the 15th of March, 2019, a formal inquiry into the conduct of the administrative officer of the university, formalization of the student body and a thorough review/ repeal of discriminatory practices enfranchised by the university apparatus (discriminatory implementation of the in-time restrictions, differential library access timings for boys and girls, arbitrary and inconsistent application of rules with regards to the requirement of leave passes).

The events which have transpired at the Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law (RGNUL), Patiala over the past few days can only be characterised by the tell-tale signs of what other NLUs have faced in the recent past- administrative misdemeanour, miscarriage of justice, red-tapism, and sexism, just to name a few. The events have been dispiriting and devastating not only for the students of RGNUL but for the student fraternity across the National Law Universities (NLUs).

The struggle of RGNUL students appears to have the same roots as that of many other struggles in NLUs over the last few years. The absence of a robust grievance redressal system in NLUs renders the students to seek extreme measures by putting their careers and academic interests at stake.

We empathise with the students of RGNUL and their struggle against the draconian actions of their administration. It is agonising to witness the unreasonable and discriminatory campus and library curfew, the sheer opaqueness and the consequent lack of accountability on part of the administration for their actions and most importantly, the attempts made to thwart the materialization of any Student Collective that may become the voice of the students and the wrongful suspension of six students. It is truly disheartening to bear witness to the callous response of the authorities to peacefully protesting students.

We also extend our solidarity to the students of all the other NLUs who are confronting similar draconian regulations, where the importance of dissent and the spirit of questioning and accountability have been trampled on by those exercising unchecked power. The NLUs Students Consortium would like to recall the previously released statement supporting the call for the nationalisation and grant of Institutes of National Importance (INI) status to NLUs. This would ensure a centralization of administration and accountable systems across all the law schools in India, leading to uniform administrative regulations, academic standards and centralised funding. We implore for the same.

Therefore, NLUs Students Consortium stand in complete solidarity with our counterparts at RGNUL and wholeheartedly support the courageous stand taken by them. We respect their sincere and valiant efforts to stand up and raise questions against the arbitrary and draconian behaviour of their administration.

Attached: The statement of the NLU Consortium in solidarity with the students of RGNUL Patiala


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