Petitioners in Jamia student union case, to continue to fight for their “cause”

By TCN Staff Reporter

New Delhi: The fact, that Delhi High Court made them withdraw their Public Interest Litigation (PIL) related to the student union election in Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), the petitioners in this case, aren’t discouraged at all. They plan to approach courts again.

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Afroz Alam Sahil, Iqrar Khan and Naseem Ahmed, who are former students of the university, had petitioned in the Delhi HC regarding holding student union elections in the university. But the HC declined to hear their petition, observing that the petitioners are outsiders and non-interested parties in this case.

Talking to, Afroz Alam Sahil said that the Jamia Millia Islami authorities “misguided” the court by making the genuine case for student union elections in JMI, appear in the court, as not for public interest but as part of the personal/political agenda of the petitioners.

“We are ready to expose the lies of the university in court by clearing few facts. The biggest lie was that I dint attend classes. The fact is that left the university long back how I can attend classes when I have already left the university months back as a protest against the university’s autocratic behavior,” Sahil said.

Forum for Student Democracy, which is a platform of student community belonging to JNU, JMI DU, has been fighting for democratic rights of the students in JMI.

According to the petitioners, they withdrew from their petition because otherwise the court would have dismissed it, preventing any other PIL to be accepted by the court in this regard in future. Soon, they with few regular students of the university, they plan to approach courts again.

Sahil alleged that by not holding student union election in the university, JMI is violating rules and instructions prescribed and issued by the Supreme Court and almost every government agency associated with education like UGC, Ministry of HRD, all of which have written a letter to the university, asking it to hold elections of the student union.

The apex court has repeatedly said that holding elections in universities a cross the country is mandatory, and came up with Lyngdoh guidelines for student union polls.

Sahil argued that the present behavior of the Jamia administration is against the resolution passed by the Jamia Academic council on November 18, 2005, asking the university to have mandatory student union elections by September of every year.

The university had argued in the court that students don’t want student union, which Sahil said, was against the reality. Reportedly more than four thousand students of Jamia Millia Islamia took part in a signature campaign for the student union elections.

Afroz also raised the issue of the money collected from the students on the name of student union because the university takes fifty rupees from every staudent. Sahil calculated that since last six years more than 42 lakhs have been collected but the JMI authorities aren’t ready to disclose about what happened to that huge amount of money.

“I have filed several RTIs asking JMI about the money but the authorities have consistently refused to answer my questions,” added Sahil.