Tuesday, September 28, 2021
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HC raps MU over lack of amenities at varsity’s tribunal

The Bombay High Court has expressed dissatisfaction over the lack of basic facilities at a tribunal set up to hear admission and other education-related matters involving the University of Mumbai and SNDT College.

The University of Mumbai and SNDT College Tribunal has jurisdiction over the two institutions.

A division bench of Justices A S Oka and Riyaz Chagla directed the Mumbai university to take prompt action and provide basic amenities and facilities at the tribunal and to its presiding officer, who is a retired high court judge.

The university has to provide all basic facilities and amenities to the tribunal and its presiding officer which he is entitled to, Justice Oka said.

“We expect the university to take prompt action. Even assuming that the university is in a crisis situation now, we cannot accept the fact that basic facilities are not being provided to the tribunal and its officer,” he said.

“This is really a pathetic state of affairs.”

The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by advocate Pravartak Pathak.

The tribunal was set up as a first appeals body to hear issues arising out of admissions and other education-related matters.

Rui Rodrigues, lawyer representing the Mumbai university, told the court that a meeting was held between the vice chancellor and the tribunal’s presiding officer to understand what were the facilities required.

To this, Justice Oka said, “How can you expect the presiding officer to tell the vice chancellor what he requires. The university should be providing all those amenities that the presiding officer is entitled to, as per the Government Resolution (GR) of 1995.”

The court posted the matter to October 11.

According to the PIL, the tribunal has been allotted a very small area to operate from and there is a shortage of support staff, which hamper its work.

Further, it states that the presiding officer has not been provided with proper accommodation, as per the standards mentioned in the Government Resolution.

Also, car facility is not provided to the presiding officer.

The presiding officer has not been given proper washroom facilities and has to go to the toilet used by litigants, the petition says.

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