The Punjab and Haryana High Court noticed Plea Challenges Exclusion of Research Scholars in student Union Polls in Haryana


The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Haryana government on a plea challenging its decision to not allow research scholars to contest student union elections, which are set to be held in the state's colleges and universities on Wednesday.

"The High Court made it clear that the result of the elections would be subject to the outcome of the writ petition," said advocate Ravinder Singh Dhull, representing the petitioners.

The petitioners have challenged the government's decision of not allowing the research scholars to contest the polls as per the recommendations of Tankeshwar committee. Dhull said the plea of the petitioners was that the elections should have been conducted as per the recommendations of Lyngdoh committee and not as per the Tankeshwar committee. Justice Rajan Gupta, who was hearing the bunch of petitions filed by research scholar in Maharishi Dayanad University (MDU) Rohtak and others, passed these orders, Dhull said.

The court asked the department of higher education to file reply on the issue by November 12. Dhull said that the petitioners are research scholars, but they can neither contest elections nor cast vote. "This is despite the fact that the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations had allowed them to so," Dhull pointed out.

"No opportunity of hearing has been given to the research scholars. No reason has been assigned as to why the Haryana government has deviated from the recommendations given in the Lyngdoh Committee, which are duly accepted by the Supreme Court and made mandatory in nature," he said. Meanwhile, the students' union elections are set to be held in state colleges and universities on October 17.

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had earlier directed officials concerned to ensure smooth and peaceful conduct of the polls. The student union elections in Haryana colleges and universities in Haryana are being held after a gap of 22 years.

The BJP government in the state has decided to hold indirect polls to students unions, which has been opposed by various student bodies barring RSS' student wing ABVP. Earlier, the Khattar government had set up a panel headed by Prof Tankeshwar Kumar, vice-chancellor of Guru Jambeshwar University of Science and Technology, to give its recommendations on holding student union polls in the state.

In indirect polls, class representatives are elected in colleges and department representatives in universities, who will elect the president and other office-bearers of student organisations. Various students organisations, including NSUI and the now-disbanded INSO, have been protesting against the move to hold indirect polls.

On Friday, Haryana police had resorted to a mild baton-charge on students of Kurukshetra and MD Universities at Kurukshetra and Rohtak who were sitting on a 'dharna' outside the campus demanding direct polls. Student union polls were banned in 1996 by the then chief minister Bansi Lal following incidents of violence.

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