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Delhi HC: Delhi Univ students shouldn’t suffer in BCI vs DU war over infrastructure neglect & more

Delhi University (DU) law students should not suffer in the ongoing tussle between the Bar Council of India (BCI) and DU’s law centres over campus infrastructure, said the Delhi high court yesterday.

Delhi HC chief justice G Rohini and justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw were hearing former additional solicitor general Sidharth Luthra, who was acting on the petition of CLC Delhi first year student Tarun Narang against the university for its poor infrastructure.

Narang told Legally India that the judges asked him to file an intervention application in the pending contempt case filed by former DU law dean SN Singh for a unified campus for all the three DU law centres, and challenge Singh’s prayer.

Singh, who preceded Ashwini Bansal as head of DU’s law centres until 2011, has filed a contempt case on the university based on its failure to comply with a 2011 Delhi HC direction to create a unified campus for DU’s three law centres. Singh, who practices as an advocate since he retired as dean, is appearing in person in his contempt petition.

Narang said that yesterday the bench asked DU’s counsel Mohinder JS Rupal what the total area proposed by the university for its new building for the law centres was. Rupal informed the court that 1.5 acres of land were proposed for the new building, whereas the present campus land area held by CLC, in which Law Centre I is also accommodated, is 3.5 acres.

“My petition asks for sufficient infrastructure for the students which accommodates all 7500 students”, commented Narang. “What is the point of giving a new building if it still does not comply with BCI rules? The BCI will again derecognize the course. Students will again be troubled,” he said.

“The court said that the students should not suffer in this process,” added Narang.

The bench pulled up DU for its “step motherly treatment” of its Faculty of Law, citing several news reports stating that the BCI had recommended shutting down the Faculty of Law, reported the Express and the PTI.

The news reports had followed Legally India’s publication of the leaked BCI inspection report earlier this week, which Bansal had attempted to bury.

Bansal had criticised the report harshly, claiming that the BCI did not have the power to exercise the powers over DU that it was seeking to exercise, such as limiting classroom hours only to the daytime.

He had also alleged that the report was biased, riddled with errors, and had singled out DU whereas there were 1,200 colleges in the country that the BCI had not inspected.

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