New Delhi: The Delhi University on Monday approached the high court here challenging a single judge's order asking the law faculty members to conduct at least 139 hours of extra classes/tutorials for those students who are desirous to attend the lectures to make up for attendance shortage.
Delhi University approaches Delhi HC against extra law classes order
The single judge had come down heavily on the Delhi University law teachers for "illegally" detai-ning around 500 students for lack of attendance and ordered holding of supplementary exams, saying it was a "failure" of the faculty.
A Delhi high court bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna and Chander Shekhar issued notice to the students on Monday and sought their response on the university's appeal against the order. In its appeal through senior advocate Arvind Nigam, the varsity contended that the single judge in its July 6 order had totally ignored the fact that all the three law centres had already completed the course within the total number of lectures held.
"Rule 10 of the BCI Rules by no stretch of imagination can be interpreted to stipulate that additional classes should be held even though the entire syllabus of the course has been taught in the semester as per the time table and schedule followed by the law centre," it said.
The students, represented through senior advocates Kirti Uppal and Prashanto Sen and advocate Samarendra Kumar, have also filed caveat in the matter stating that they be also heard. The bench listed the matter for August 21 after the counsel said that the supplementary examinations are scheduled from Aug-ust 24. The DU in the appeal said no syllabus remained that may be taught to students.
The university contended in the appeal that the single judge, by passing the judgement, had "over-stressed" the rule that 450 class hours have to be conducted irrespective of the fact that the syllabus for all the subjects for the respective semesters was already completed as planned.
It said no syllabus remained that may be taught to the detained students in these additional classes. The single judge, while granting relief to the law students, had said the shortfall of attendance was caused due to "failure of faculty of law to conduct minimum classes as prescribed under the Bar Council of India rules".
The court had passed a slew of directions and directed the law faculty members to conduct, within eight weeks, at least 139 hours of extra classes/ tutorials for those students who are desirous to attend the lectures to make up shortage of attendance.
It had said the shortfall of attendance was caused due to "failure of faculty of law to conduct minimum classes as prescribed under the Bar Council of India rules."
The court had made the directions while disposing of 21 separate petitions filed by 53 students, challenging the memorandum issued by the law faculty on May 7 and May 8 and May 10, detaining several students of fourth and sixth semester from appearing in exams for not having an aggregate attendance of 70 per cent in the semesters, as required by the BCI Rules.
The court had said there was a prima facie reason to believe that Delhi University Teachers Association strikes saw "large scale participation" of members from law faculty, due to which students have been "unfairly deprived" of an opportunity to meet the prescribed attendance criteria.
It had also said there were "glaring discrepancies" in the attendance record and it was maintained in the "most archaic fashion" by the authorities.
As an interim relief, the high court had earlier ordered that the students, who have approached the court after being detained by the DU due to lack of attendance, be allowed to sit for their ongoing examinations subject to final outcome of the petitions.
The court had said that the faculty must allow those students, who were detained due to shortage of attendance and could not be granted the interim relief, to take their supplementary examinations for the semester concerned.
One of the petitions filed by Adarsh Raj Singh, a sixth-semester student of Law Centre-I, had sought quashing of the May 7 memorandum by which he was detained in the VI semester on the grounds that he does not have an aggregate attendance of 70 per cent in the said semester.
In the pleas filed on behalf of the detained law students, it was claimed that DU Law Faculty's three centres — Campus Law Centre, Law Centre 1 and Law Centre 2 — have arbitrarily, illegally and without issuing any show-cause notice detained hundreds of them.
The single judge had quashed the detention lists issued by the law faculty regarding students who could not meet the prescribed attendance criteria due to the faculty of law's failure to hold the prescribed mandatory minimum number of class hours during the concerned semester.