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GNLU director Bimal Patel grabs power from exec council to invent new punishments, ahead of Guj HC hearing [UPDATE-1: Judgment Friday]

GNLU director grows even more powerfulGNLU director grows even more powerful

GNLU Gandhinagar transferred the power to punish students allegedly found guilty of prohibited activities and conduct during exams from its executive council to its director.

In November 2015 a student was accused of cheating during an exam, which the student disputed, winning a Gujarat high court order that heavily criticised the oligarchy created at GNLU under director Bimal Patel.

But in a resolution ratified on 27 February 2016, the university amended the Gujarat National Law University (Academic, Mooting, Internship, Examinations, Hostel and Other Matters) Regulations, 2015.

The series of amendments were only uploaded to the GNLU website some time later (available at ) - an internet archive snapshot of the page of 30 March 2016 does not contain a link to the file, and according to a so-called http “response header” returned by the PDF file, it was “last modified” on 12 May 2016, suggesting that it may have been uploaded around that time.

According to the amendment to regulation 44 (disciplinary measures for prohibited activities and conduct during examinations), where the executive council (EC) had the power to impose “any other [disciplinary] measures [than those listed in the regulation]” on an allegedly guilty student, it is now the director alone who enjoys the EC’s former power.

The amendment to regulation 44(f) states:

Existing as, ‘Notwithstanding the above measures, the Executive Council on the report of the Examination Committee may consider imposition of any other measures as it may deem appropriate.’

Amended as, “Notwithstanding the above measures, the Director on the report of the Examination Committee may consider imposition of any other measures as it may deem appropriate. [emphasis added]

The rules amend regulation 44 dealing with disciplinary measures during examinations, namely:

Regulation 44, before amendment (click to see full-size)Regulation 44, before amendment (click to see full-size)

The Gujarat high court is currently hearing GNLU’s letters patent appeal against its single-judge order that had noted that Patel and other staff members had turned GNLU:

into an oligarchy where all decisions are taken, reviewed and implemented by a select few, and students are casually denied basic human rights and natural justice

After that order GNLU had, during court vacations, filed for an urgent hearing to grant an interim stay on it so that the law school could conduct its internal inquiry into the student’s case of alleged cheating. The high court had dismissed GNLU’s application for urgent hearing on the ground that it was not confident of the fairness of such an inquiry within the university’s “four corners”.

Vacations at the high court are now over and the court heard arguments in the appeal yesterday.

The case is now listed for hearing tomorrow.

Update 9 June 2016, 15:29: Judgment expected to be out on Friday (10 June)

Patel did not respond to an email we sent him this morning.

GNLU Regulations Amendment of February 2016 (PDF)

Click to show 14 comments
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By reading the comments you agree that they are the (often anonymous) personal views and opinions of readers, which may be biased and unreliable, and for which Legally India therefore has no liability. If you believe a comment is inappropriate, please click 'Report to LI' below the comment and we will review it as soon as practicable.
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Like +0 Object -0 lawschoolleaks 08 Jun 16, 19:17
No hat tip to the commentator who commented on the other article and alerted you... tsk tsk tsk....
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Like +1 Object -0 kianganz 08 Jun 16, 19:20
Haha, thank you, hat-tip hereby duly acknowledged :) Though we don't have your name or Twitter handle, so we can't really give a proper hat-tip :)
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Like +0 Object -0 lawschoolleaks 20 Jun 16, 20:28
tsk tsk tsk...

You should follow me.
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Like +1 Object -0 Derrick 09 Jun 16, 11:48
Nope. Not filled
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 09 Jun 16, 13:38
How come? Weren't they set up 2 years ago with crores worth of donations? What's happening?
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Like +2 Object -0 Delhi lawyer 09 Jun 16, 12:18
Great story exposing how "rule of law" and "due process" are illegally held hostage at many institutions - GNLU is one of the most rotten apples in the cart.

This is a case of a power hungry dinosaur wrecking havoc in the most arbitrary fashion. Hoping the Division Bench will not only uphold the observations of the Single Judge, but also add its own views on the illegal (not improper, but illegal) and unjust "gun rule" situation at GNLU.
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 09 Jun 16, 14:31
Kian if you do a faculty analysis at NLUs you should refer to these remarks by the president yesterday. He said that India underspends on higher education and talented students go abroad. This is the root of the problem plus stupid VCs.
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Like +1 Object -0 Outsider 09 Jun 16, 15:09
Any day now, Patel will soon be out with a proclamation "Off with their heads!"
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Like +0 Object -0 kianganz 09 Jun 16, 15:32
FYI, judgment expected to be out tomorrow (Friday 10 June)
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Like +0 Object -0 GujjuSunburn 09 Jun 16, 16:44
I hope the Ho'ble High Court takes notice of this to uphold the Single Bench order. This knee-jerk reaction can be costly to Prof (Dr.) Mr. Bimal N. Patel.
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Like +2 Object -0 GNLU wellwisher, alum. 09 Jun 16, 17:24
This matter should have been amicably resolved by GNLU at the very outset. Dear GNLU, you cannot be arrogant when you are incontestably wrong.
By amending the rules (PURPORTEDLY) during pendency of the writ petition before the single judge, not informing the student community about this amendment, and only bringing it in the knowledge of the court during appellate arguments...GNLU has itself proved that the bias that Jaymin talked of is a very real and tangible thing. Very evidently, the amendment to the rules is back-dated.

In fact, all the students who have faced similar summary adjudications must challenge the university's decisions in courts of law.

This fight cannot be won by one student who risked going to court against the entire administration at the cost of his education. For any substantial result, the fight has to be a concerted effort by everyone who has been denied what was due.
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Like +2 Object -0 GNLU Alumnus 10 Jun 16, 04:40
I wholeheartedly concur with 'GNLU wellwisher, alum'. No one likes to drag their university to a Court of law, more so in the case of a law school.

Sadly, GNLU, despite what it would like us to believe, has been doing this ever since Bimal Patel took charge, and it is hardly surprising to see this happening.

It is rather confounding how the man seems to get away with things time and again. The last time students approached the Gujarat HC, he got away on appeal after a stinging order by the single judge. The very fact that he chose to appeal in itself clearly tells one that this man has absolutely no regard for the interests of the students in the institution which he is supposed to lead into the future.

In fact, from what I hear, there is much more going on behind the curtain that even this, and I am sure, if things gain traction, hopefully after Friday's order, these things will also come to light, as somewhere below all this there is yet more confusion that this man is yet to perpetrate.

History shows how tyrants are made, and it was visible that Bimal Patel displayed dictatorial tendencies right from the beginning. It is only natural that now, many years later, his power has only grown with the entry of each new batch who are taught fear of the administration from the very get go. There are enough articles on this very website that can help trace the transformation of this man from a relatively harmless bigot into an absolute tyrant.

Well, as Lord Acton said, "Absolute power....". You know how it goes.

The Gujarat HC has a glorious opportunity to rein in the GNLU administration, and it is about damn time that happened.
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Like +0 Object -0 jiggles 12 Jun 16, 13:33
wow. and we thought we had it bad
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