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25th NLU, 2nd in MP: Jabalpur gets ex-RML/NLIU/Amity VC Balraj Chauhan, registrar, campus • LLB to start July 2018

Balraj Chauhan to lead (NLIU II) Jabalpur
Balraj Chauhan to lead (NLIU II) Jabalpur

The newest among 25 national law universities (NLU) in India, and Madhya Pradesh’s second NLU, NLU Jabalpur yesterday was given its first director as the high court appointed former RMLNLU Lucknow and NLIU Bhopal vice chancellor (VC) Prof Balraj Chauhan to the post.

The high court also appointed Judicial Training and Research Institute (JTRI) Jabalpur director Sanjeev Kumar as the NLU’s registrar, Chauhan told us.

He said that as per the ordinance establishing NLU Jabalpur, the government intends to start the law school’s first academic session from July 2018 onward. He said that the government has already purchased land for constructing the NLU’s permanent campus but will commence its session for the time being through a temporary campus which is yet to be rented.

Chauhan told us that things like the batch intake or whether Jabalpur will take admissions through the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), among other administrative decisions will be taken after meetings between him, the registrar and the executive council at the NLU.

As per procedure to appoint any NLU’s first director, Chauhan was nominated and appointed directly by the high court instead of his name being forwarded first as the nomination of a director-search committee.

Chauhan is currently continuing to head Amity University Lucknow as director and will gradually relieve himself from his duties at Amity and expects to join Jabalpur in the next 7-10 days. He had joined Amity University as group director for its Lucknow, Gurgaon, Mumbai and Jaipur campuses in October 2016 after his successive terms as VC first at NLIU and RMLNLU which had ended on 2 January 2013.

He commented: “It is a good challenge for me. The most important thing is that I served as a vice chancellor for more than 9 years, at NLIU and RMLNLU. I held different positions in Lucknow university. I never had any problem with the students and those students are now my strength. They are now high court judges, lawyers, IAS officers, journalists, they are the persons who are advising me. And now I understand how these students from NLUs are slightly different from others as their expectations are different.”

The Madhya Pradesh government had approved the decision to establish an NLU in Jabalpur - where the principal bench of the Madhya Pradesh high court is - as recently as in March this year.

Chauhan was also part of the search committee responsible for nominating Prof SS Singh’s successor at NLIU Bhopal who was to also be appointed as NLIU’s new director yesterday, simultaneously with Chauhan’s appointment at Jabalpur. However, the appointment at NLIU has currently been stayed due to student opposition.

Chauhan declined to comment on the controversy at NLIU.

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