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HNLU four-year battle winds down, students return to new campus

HNLU-Hunger_strikeHidayatullah National Law University Raipur (HNLU) students returned for classes today to their new 70-acre campus, ending four years of strife with university officials that included protests, agitation and hunger strikes.

HNLU Student Bar Association representative Chandrashekhar A Chakalabbi said that students were happy with the allocation of a new campus.

However, he added that there was only "partial satisfaction" and an expectation remained that faculty members who had left HNLU during the protests would be reinstated.

HNLU's vice chancellor M.K Shrivastav said that the main bone of contention was the provision of infrastructure facilities and a new campus.

This had now been resolved after moving into a new campus that cost Rs 60 crore and was better than the campus of the National Law School of India University Bangalore (NLSIU).

Trouble first brewed at HNLU in 2005 after a complaint was made to the vice chancellor Shrivastava about the campus' deteriorating infrastructure.

Chandrashekhar said that there was "not enough security at the hostel, the food quality had gone down and much was left to be desired with respect to enhancement of academic standards".

He added: "Over a period of time 27 faculty members left including 12 to 15 senior professors. That's when the Student Bar Association decided to take matters into their own hands, demanding management control and diversion of funds to improve quality."

Students decided to go on strike on 9 March 2009 after the deadlock of a meeting of HNLU's executive council, which provides independent oversight.

The vice chancellor issued a closure of the university in response and students decided to continue their protest on campus.

"The situation became worse with no electricity, water, food and transportation at the university premises during the strike period," said Chandrashekhar.

Justice S.K. Agnihotri of Chattisgarh High Court, who is a member of HNLU's executive council, intervened and after his mediation the Chief Justice of India directed the Chattisgarh High Court Chief Justice Rajeev Gupta to look into the matter.

The students called off their strike on 22 March 2009 and returned to finish their exams and semester.

Less than three weeks later on 9 April, 319 HNLU students voted to go on hunger strike (pictured) after a failed attempt to resolve the dispute at a meeting between students and the Chattisgarh High Court Chief Justice.

On 13 April, the police arrested a number of hunger striking HNLU students for allegedly rioting and damaging university property. Chandrashekhar said that first information reports (FIRs) were filed against 150 students on behalf of the university.

On the evening of the same day the Chief Justice of India ordered the constitution of an inspection committee to examine the events.

The inspection committee of Justice Agnihotri and two academics submitted its report on 4 August 2009.

Students and HNLU are currently awaiting the final verdict from the Chief Justice of India on the report.

HNLU vice chancellor Shrivastava told Legally India: "The inspection Committee has not indicted or found guilty any member of the university.

"The honorable Chief Justice of India, who is a visitor at [HNLU] is also likely to support the university's stance. 500 certified copies of the inspection committee report have been distributed to those concerned, but it is not meant for the public."

He added that classes were resuming and that the unrest had been caused by a few student agitators.

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Like +0 Object -0 A Star 01 Sep 09, 18:30
Also what needs to be seen is the quality of the newer law schools in the country.
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Like +0 Object -0 A Star 01 Sep 09, 18:45
The Situation has a lot to do with the students themselves. Students [edited] do such activities to take out their personal ire.

The strike is a dark spot for the once bright future for HNLU.

The situation is pretty much in control, except for the occassional lack of teachers.

Hope god gives the agitators some sanity.
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Like +0 Object -0 LION 02 Sep 09, 01:54
I think the story is not very well-balanced, ending on a note of victory for the HNLU VC and making the students appear entirely to blame. As an alumnus of a national level law school, I can tell you that its very difficult to get the entire student body to boycott classes and endanger their academic career. The situation must have been intolerable!!

[Ed: We have tried to represent the facts and competing arguments as fairly as possible so readers can make up their own mind about which version of events makes more sense.
Many thanks also for pointing out an unintentional error - the story should have read "first information report", rather than "request".]
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Like +0 Object -0 great to hear about HNLU 02 Sep 09, 10:37
with all due respect...the article is balance enough however, when you write
"This had now been resolved after moving into a new campus that cost Rs 60 crore and was better than the campus of the National Law School of India University Bangalore (NLSIU)"

you should also know that NLSIU campus is one o the worst among the other national law schools (except the library which is awesome).

Kian its time you visited law schools such as NALSAR, NLU and even NUJS (which is small but has a nice campus), NLS agreed is a great law school but they have done little when it comes to the infrastructure.
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Like +0 Object -0 think before you ink 02 Sep 09, 11:00
Students of HNLU never declared a war against HNLU Vice- Chancellor. Yes, but indeed they rise & stand against the sense of growing corruption, prevailing sorry state of affairs, inadequate basic infrastructure & violation of their human rights (being a student) ...

The mesage & stern warning which the student community of HNLU wanted to send across the legal fraternity & society at large was that SOMETHING IS WRONG IN EXISTING SYSTEM ... So kindly take note of it & improve & refabricate it with cherished idea of democracy & constitutionalism.

Yes, we read history & forget it very easily .. We forget & overlook the contribution of legal fraternity & their role in India's Indepenence ( perhaps largely Political Independence) ... as still the quest for socio- economic independence of india is continued ..

The students of HNLU; when decided to resort to strike ( hunger strike) ... the authorities concerned imposed a sine die stating some diff. reason ... (but to evacuate the university premises the same VC gave a diff. reason & grounds to the district administration).

When students met District administration and showed the notice signed by VC for students, the District Magistrate of Raipur supported students (as he revealed that i was informed that students had confined thier teachers and manhandled some of staff)...

Anyway, We do not want to peep into a history... but believe or not... THE BRIGHT FUTURE OF HNLU had just kicked off...

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Like +0 Object -0 lawyer 02 Sep 09, 11:37
ok seriously ..this above comment is totally out of context, i guess the person didn't read the article properly.

hmm i think i agree with LION, its very difficult to get the entire student body to go on a protest...
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Like +0 Object -0 think before you ink 02 Sep 09, 11:55
Hey.. just keep your crap with you (with all regards & respect for your freedom of speech) ...

Come to the new world ... & new HNLU... It (strike) is not a dark spot for the once bright future for HNLU .. but its the end of dark ages at HNLU ... The ghost of Education Mafia [...] will not thrive in the new campus of HNLU... [...]

As corruption is eating away the vital of democracy and paralyses the concept of good governance ... I would say that any such social evils (like Corruption, Nepotism) at Educational institution would creep the future of students... & a country.

The strike was nothing but just the final assault on budding malpractices at HNLU.

kindly recheck your statement as the situation is pretty much in control... but who is the controlling authority at HNLU?

Why there is a sense of resentment at NUJS .. (one of the highly ranked national law school of india) kindly follow the link...

www.legallyindia.com/index.php/20090824145/Law-schools/Students-boycott-hiked-fees-NUJS-extends-payment-deadline

Because with each passing day the situtaion is becoming grim ... with exorbitant fees charged by authorities, providing no quality education, not facilitating basic infrastructure ... leads to such stuents movement..

Let me allow to warn that when STUDENTS (particularly Law Student) can not rise against tyranny, arbitrariness & hooligans .. then perhaps there is something wrong in the existing societal fabrics, ethics , values and vision at large.
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Like +0 Object -0 A STAR 02 Sep 09, 12:24
the LIONS and INKERS need to look within and see what have they done to the university? When a website talks about the new campus you want to revisit your "great" strike which was uncalled for.

People like the man mentioned in the article should be publicly flogged along with Mr. A.M. and should be shown what real democracy is. Democracy is not the right to strike and protest and violate. Grow up!
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Like +0 Object -0 Think before you ink... 02 Sep 09, 17:34
@ A STAR -- Certainly Democracy is not the right to strike and protest and violate. But, allow me to put a simple question - Don't you have a right to register your protest in a democratic set up?

Yes, the recent judicial trend is not in favour of right to strike & development so far is restrictive in nature ... But, Howsoever, every case must be decided upon its own merit, facts & circumstances. In the instant case - the matter was pertaining to saving an educational institution, well- being and future of students, their right to get quality education, an environment where they can grow intellectually, academically & overall in a good human being, a responsible citizen. Howsoever, it is pertinent to note that SC has come heavily on striking lot like govt. medical practitioner , truckers etc. because those are services which disturb the public order & a larger public interest is sacrificed . Howsoever,it is not to support unwanted strike... but sometimes it becomes necessary as in a situation when you are denied a right to hearing or representation (as in instant case, HNLU students were denied a right to representation by their Chancellor).

Yes, when the students at HNLU on 13th April 2009 were not allowing their VC to leave campus ... then Police was called ... and they arrested nearly 150 students ( and all students gave their arrest peacefully) Yes, but the incident was quite shocking ... because to arrest (girl) students ... no women police was called for.

@ A Star -- Yes, the students of HNLU deserve to be publicly flogged ... but unfortunately they are not a citizen of TALIBAN. They are the citizens of Republic of India & perhaps all of them had born after emergency period (post -1975) so they have a greater sense of respect for freedom, liberty & justice.

The constitutional values & ethics which are read by the students .. had just been exercised by them.

Public Flogging & lynching is a crime in the Republic of India.
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Like +0 Object -0 Indelible Ink 02 Sep 09, 19:49
"Think before you ink" - people like you really make me realize the horror of where this country is headed. There was Bush with his definition of democracy, and then I believe it is you. And as much as you use big, very big words in your comments ("constitutional ethics", "tyranny, arbitrariness & hooligans" etc.), reading your interpretation, I doubt you understand what any of them mean.

Without commenting upon the substance and validity of the happenings at HNLU, suffice it is to say that your conduct on this thread has been totally uncalled for. There are many ways to discuss your ideas and thoughts, but this certainly is not the right one.

Also, since you keep pressing over what the responsibilities of a law student are, I'd much appreciate if you at least properly spell and punctuate your comments, much like any half-decent law-student would. Oh no, Im not trying to hint at anything.

Till then, why dont you "just keep your crap with you (with all regards & respect for your freedom of speech) ..." [sic]
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Like +0 Object -0 A STAR 02 Sep 09, 23:28
@ Indelible Ink - Bang on Target

@ (Did not ever think) Before you ink - I hope you carry some wisdom this time you visit this link.

Take this new campus as a cue to start afresh, hopefully your militancy ends. I pray to God for the well being of your University and your mind.
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Like +0 Object -0 Anonymous guest 06 Feb 11, 13:21
the pro-establishment comments are scoff-able.
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