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2 dozen HNLU students start hunger strike after 6 days protests vs VC yield no result • VC threatens shutting down college

Hunger strikes: A decade on nothing changes except, more apathyHunger strikes: A decade on nothing changes except, more apathy

At HNLU Raipur 23 students began an indefinite hunger strike at 8am today demanding vice chancellor (VC) Sukh Pal Singh’s resignation, after six days of peaceful protests and a no-confidence motion signed by almost the entire student body against the VC proved unsuccessful in outing him from the law school.

As an additional mark of protest the students also declined to take advantage of a state government-run scheme under which they would receive free mobile phones until Singh resigns.

HNLU’s student bar association (SBA) consulted physicians yesterday to ascertain the medical fitness of the students willing to start a hunger strike and also gained support from Indian National Youth Congress president Keshav Chandra Yadav, AIPWA member Laxmi Krishnan, Janta Congress spokesperson Nitin Bhansali and Marwahi legislative member Amit Jogi who visited campus yesterday. Jogi added that he would financially support HNLU students in a writ against the HNLU administration if they chose to file it.

Sine Die uni vacation

Singh released a notice yesterday evening imploring the students to end the protest and avoid being in contempt of the Supreme Court stay order on the high court’s decision to remove him from the post of VC. In his second “appeal” to the students since they began protests on 25 September, Singh states:

[...] none of your activities is in accordance with law. All these activities are in defiance of the order of the honourable chancellor and the honourable Supreme Court. Your protest is an act to defeat the purpose of the stay order of the honourable Supreme Court of India and may also amount to the contempt of court. All these actions of yours have led to damage the image and academic environment of the university, despite the very fact that the majority of students is in favour of restoring normalcy in the university and willing to pursue their academic pursuits. [....]

In this appeal from yesterday Singh threatened to shut down HNLU indefinitely if the students did not call off the protest and resume classes today.

Students have been pushing for Singh’s resignation because they allege that the HNLU’s administration under him has been abysmal, with problems ranging from apathy to sexual harassment complaints, corruption and lack of infrastructure. 800 students of the law school signed the no-confidence motion against him after the general body meeting in September, as we reported earlier.

Not all of them have joined the demonstration, according to sources among the protesting students, but those who have joined have styled it somewhat on NUJS Kolkata’s student protest toward the removal of its former VC Prof Ishwara Bhat, which was successful in the short term but have led to a controversial interim administration at NUJS.

It is not the first time in HNLU’s history that students have had to sit on hunger strike in order to push for better administration and facilities. The first such strike happened in 2009.

Sukh Pal Singh second appeal to students (PDF)

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Like +5 Object -5 Vedic 01 Oct 18, 13:35  controversial
Interviewer: What was your single largest accomplishment in law school.

Candidate: I took part in a protest against the VC.

The trash bin thus overfloweth.
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Like +4 Object -0 Alumnus 01 Oct 18, 13:37
How is this protest in contempt of court? The Supreme Court did not say Dukhpal can remain on the chair till he dies, simply that his removal on the grounds of procedural irregularities in appointment/extension has to be stayed till the court decides anything further. That does not mean he cannot be removed on any other ground or that students cannot protest against his atrocities! Itni toh law aana chahiye ek NLU VC ko yaar!
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 01 Oct 18, 23:02
why cant they do a "vacate stay" instead of protest, and get it heard?
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Like +2 Object -1 Guest 01 Oct 18, 14:09
All NLU students and faculty should go on strike on National Law Day (26 November) to demand better conditions from the government (which only pampers IITs and IIMs).
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 01 Oct 18, 15:15
The pampering of IITs may be over already. IIT Bombay, recently selected by the government as an IOE, hasn't been given the funding it receives regularly. The teachers there haven't received salary this month.
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Like +0 Object -0 Achha? 01 Oct 18, 18:46
Most, if not all, colleges are shut at that time. Kaise karre strike? All India Law Interns Strike?
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Like +5 Object -16 Appeal to Students 01 Oct 18, 14:47  controversial
On behalf of many students, alumnis, faculties of HNLU and other colleges and well-wishers of legal education in India, we stand by Prof Sukh Pal Singh. A lot of lies is being spread in media and internet. Here are some clean facts:

1) The protest is totally mala fide and contempt of court. As per section 2 of Contempt of Court Act 1971 definition of contempt of court means: "willful disobedience to any judgement, decree, direction, order, writ or other process of a court or willful breach of an undertaking given to a court". In the case of Baradakanta Mishra v Bhimsen Dixit (AIR 1972 SC 2466), Hon'ble SC has said: "Contempt of Court is disobedience to the court, by acting in opposition to the authority, justice and dignity thereof. It signifies a willful disregard or disobedience of the court's order; it also signifies such conduct as tends to bring the authority of the court and the administration of law into, disrepute. "

Here no less than Hon'ble SC has given order instituting Prof Sukh Pal as VC and you are willfully disobeying it. It is a naked contempt of court.

2) The protest is being engineered by outside elements. We can see clear support from Congress/Naxals being done with motivated reasons before state assembly elections, both from politicians and notorious media houses like Wire. These outside elements are also participating in slogan shouting. It is just a repeat of JNU protest that is happening.

3) Prof Sukh Pal has tried to do his best to solve the situation. He held a 2 hour GB meeting and gave many appeals, but students are not prepared to listen. At the GB meeting no effort was made to understand the other view. When it was pointed out that there is state reservation for faculty posts it was not appreciated. Please understand that all National Law Colleges are facing faculty problems. Regarding the funding slow spending does not mean corruption. Rather it means careful expenditure and obtaining of clearances. Zero evidence has been given of corruption. When it was pointed out that Prof Sukh Pal improved the infrastructure from a nest of snakes and scorpions it was not appreciated. Please understand that all National Law Colleges are facing such problems.

4) The entire reputation of HNLU has been spoilt by students and sent to dust. No law firm or senior advocate will want to hire such indisciplined students. A very adverse impact on placements will happen.

5) Some students are crossing limits. Bad slang words are being used. Regarding deadline extension it seems motivated for couples. There is claim of law and transparency being made, but please check what is law for drinking and whether it will not be transparent to rusticate students for underage drinking?

We thus appeal to students to please call of protests. You are taking Gandhiji's name, but remember that Gandhiji was the first to seek dialogue and discussion. As has been pointed out by Prof Sukh Pal, an effort can be made to discuss grievance and improve HNLU. Please also give up the childish claim of resignation and understand that you are committing contempt of court of the highest court of India by this demand.
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Like +3 Object -1 Appeal to reason 01 Oct 18, 15:53
Who are the "we"? For all the research you have done about contempt, you should have realized that the current protest is not contempt of court. Just because the Congress supports something, does that automatically make something anti-national or wrong? Not trolling, legitimately want to know if that is actually what you think.

PS- anyone with half a brain will see right through the red herrings. Should probably try a different approach to convince people.
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Like +0 Object -6 Class 01 Oct 18, 18:34
"Just because the Congress supports something, does that automatically make something anti-national or wrong?"

70 years of Indian History says Yes
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Like +1 Object -0 Guest 01 Oct 18, 22:02
You should study some authentic history books, maybe, instead of focusing only on your daily dosage of Swarajyamag and the like.
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Like +2 Object -1 Lalwani 01 Oct 18, 16:41
Sukhpal hired a PR agency. Wow.
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Like +1 Object -0 Nanga Ram 01 Oct 18, 19:44
What is "naked" contempt?
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Like +5 Object -1 NLU Stud 01 Oct 18, 15:52
I chose SLS Pune over HNLU four years ago. Phew.
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Like +2 Object -2 Guest 01 Oct 18, 16:34
Not to take away from the protest, but HNLU does not deserve an NLU tag (same for many other NLUs). There are a world apart from the top tier NLUs, in areas like placements (even Symbiosis does better), moot performances and student and faculty quality (lot of state reservation). HNLU even has a Hindi culture of (it would be unthinkable fo the VCs of top tier NLUs to address GBs in Hindi rather than English).
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 01 Oct 18, 16:42
Were you clean while posting this?
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Like +3 Object -0 Guest 01 Oct 18, 22:16
If you went to SLS pune how come you are NLU stud?
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Like +0 Object -1 Guest 01 Oct 18, 22:57
why do they go on hunger strike when they could go to court instead. Aren't law students supposed to understand how to do things legally. Also, the "hunger strike" is a kind of blackmail.
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