DNLU students up in arms over remedial class fee of ₹7,500 per subject for failing to meet attendance requirement

Previously, the students had to only pay ₹500 per subject to re-appear for exams, with no fees charged for remedial classes.
DNLU, Jabalpur
DNLU, Jabalpur

The students of Dharmashastra National Law University (DNLU), Jabalpur are protesting action on the part of the administration towards the implementation of rules regarding examinations and attendance.

The University's move to charge ₹7,500 per subject for remedial classes that are to be attended by students who fall short of the 65% attendance criteria, has come under criticism.

Previously, the students had to only pay ₹500 per subject to re-appear for exams, with no fees charged for remedial classes.

Justifying the move in an email addressed to the students, the administration stated,

"This process cannot be undertaken without some lesson being learnt by the students. Their parents also must take the responsibility to monitor their ward. So, in order to achieve this and to also address the administration’s inconvenience caused, it is proposed that each student will have to pay Rs. 7,500/- in each subject in which they have shortage of attendance. This payment will give them admission to the remedial classes. There will be proper teaching of the concerned courses and examinations and results will be announced.

It was further approved that if a student fails to put in the minimum 75% of attendance in the remedial classes then he or she shall have to forego a year of his/her studies and pay the full annual fee for the additional year of the course."

Elaborating on the situation, a student at the University told Bar & Bench,

"Around 120 students were barred from appearing for exams owing to their failure to meet the attendance criterion on medical reasons. Despite submission of medical certificates and on being examined by the doctor at the University, they weren't allowed to give exams. In fact, some students after giving their first exam, the administration notified them of the invalidity of their paper. On submitting the medical documents as per the mandate of the University, the administration released a list of students debarred from attempting the exam just 1 day before the exam could commence. The administration didn't respond to our emails when we tried to seek redressal..."

In an email to Bar & Bench, DNLU Registrar Jalaj Goantiya defended the move, citing Rules 5 and 7 of Ordinance II of the Ordinance of DNLU, 2020, which contains provisions on attendance criteria and examinations. These Rules were framed by the University and approved by the Academic and Executive Councils.

On the aspect of fees charged for remedial classes, the Registrar's response in the email read,

"There was no provision for remedial classes under university regulations, however keeping in view the larger interest of the student the Academic Council of the University adopted a resolution as a one-time measure for the debarred students. The amount of fee i.e., ₹7,500 to be paid by the students attending remedial classes was also approved by the Academic Council."

Stating that the remedial classes were a corrective measure in the best interests of students, the Registrar wrote,

"...the resolution for remedial classes was adopted and passed by the Academic Council, which was subsequently approved by Executive Council of the University as a corrective measure only. This is done with an intent to ensure that students who have suffered shortage of attendance avoid any slowdown of progression or re-registration..."

Another student who was hospitalized for over a month and barred from appearing for exams said,

"I submitted all my medical certificates as was required, but the list that was released by the University on June 22, 2022, had my name in the category of students not permitted to appear for exams. When we challenged this list with the administration, another list was released the next day as per which I was allowed to give my exams. However, on the first day of exam on June 24, 2022, one of the professors came up to me and mentioned that I am debarred from giving exams as per the instruction of the Vice Chancellor."

A student who was barred from writing the exams highlighted,

"There were lapses from the side of the administration in bringing out the list of students after calculating the attendance, with lists not being released until a night before the exams. I was eligible to appear for exams as per the first 2 lists that were released. 2 days after commencement of exam, another list was released debarring more students from appearing for the exam - I was one among them. Our problem with the whole scenario is that previously there was no rule for paying such hefty amounts to appear for remedial classes per subject, and nothing of this sort was notified to us in the beginning of the semester. The future course of action was also not conveyed to us when we were notified about our ineligibility to give exams. The month of July - mid August was meant for our internship break. Students cannot now pursue any of these internships, owing to the new rules," the student apprised.

On his part, the Registrar denied all allegations of there being no proper redressal mechanisms in place. His email read,

"...The rule and grievance mechanism are well in place and compiled effectively. Attendance committee continuously looks into the attendance issues and resolves it on a monthly basis and also before the end term examination..."

Aggrieved by the stance of the administration, the students at DNLU made a representation to the Chancellor and Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court Ravi Malimath on July 27.

The representation also highlights that the University "conducted only 30-40 classes on an average" while the Bar Council of India mandates conducting a total of 60 classes.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Bar and Bench - Indian Legal news