NLIU Bhopal students refuse to cave as protest enters Day 3

NLIU Bhopal students refuse to cave as protest enters Day 3

Meera Emmanuel

In a press release, the students of the National Law Institute University (NLIU), Bhopal have indicated that their ongoing protest against the college administration will continue unabated until their grievances are taken up seriously.

The students at NLIU had launched an indefinite protest on November 9 over administrative apathy in resolving a number of issues at the law school. Letters detailing several grievances in this regard have been sent to the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, the Chairman of the NLIU’s General Council, Justice Hemant Gupta as well as the Chairman of the UGC.

As the protest developed, students made strong demands for the resignation of Director Professor SS Singh.

In their statement, the students have indicated that they will not buckle down to fear-mongering tactics employed by the Director to extinguish the protest. The students have reported that the Director had brought in the police as well as the sub-divisional magistrate in an attempt to quell the controlled and peaceful protest.

The statement also criticises the nonchalant manner in which the Director has apparently responded to the protest.

The arrogance of Prof. S. S. Singh is exhibited in the fact that his nonchalant behaviour has continued despite the protest, and he has taken no concrete measures to provide for the students. To make things worse, he has, on multiple occasions, tried to suppress news of the protest by misrepresenting to the media that the students’ demands have been met.”

Bolstering their faith in the movement is a joint statement released by the student bodies of NLSIU, NALSAR and NUJS, expressing solidarity with the protesting NLIU students. In this context, the joint statement also places emphasis on the need to accord National Law Universities the status of Institutes of National Importance to enable them to untap their full potential. The joint statement reads,

In absence of uniform academic standards and centralized funding, the disparity within different NLUs themselves is a problem to be reckoned with. Centralization in administration through nationalization of these institutions is the only long-term solution to this problem.

Failure to do so might disrupt entirely the next generation of social-engineers that the National Law School Project was destined to create when it was set up three decades back by Prof. Madhav Menon.

The protesting students at NLIU have also referred to the support of NLIU alumni, political members as well as representatives at the Ministry of Law and the Ministry of Education in their fight against the administration.

In such circumstances, the student body has pointed out that Director Professor SS Singh has little choice but to step down from his post.

“…it appears impossible for Prof. S. S. Singh to continue as the Director as he has been unanimously condemned by the entire student body. The students have vehemently refused to recognise him as the Director, with “#NotMyDirector” gaining popularity on social media. In such a situation, it is inconceivable that Prof. S. S. Singh will be able to establish and maintain order and stability in the University except through brutal subjugation, as he had done during the 2013 protest by the students of NLIU.

Read Statement by NLIU, Bhopal student body here.

Bar and Bench - Indian Legal news