Delhi HC Pulls Up JNU For Apathy In Responding To Requests Of Students And Teachers For COVID Care Facility Within Campus

first_imgNews UpdatesDelhi HC Pulls Up JNU For Apathy In Responding To Requests Of Students And Teachers For COVID Care Facility Within Campus LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK11 May 2021 8:51 AMShare This – xThe Delhi High Court on Tuesday pulled up the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) for not reacting with “swiftness and alacrity” as COVID cases continue to rise in a plea filed by students and teachers seeking a COVID care centre as well as oxygen production facilities to be set up within the campus.A Bench of Justice Prathiba M. Singh issued notice as well as a slew of directions, while noting that the University’s failure to respond to requests by students and teachers since April 13, if true, “would constitute gross neglect by the JNU administration in a situation which is completely alarming”. The Order goes on to state, “The University is bound to take care of the health of the students and teachers, and make available the facilities, to the extent possible, within the University campus, especially considering the prevalent shortages for hospital beds etc. Judicial notice can be taken of the fact that various organisations and institutions have gone out of their way, during the current pandemic, to make various facilities available to their employees and other stakeholders, in order to safeguard their health during the current surge of the COVID-19 pandemic”. Underlining that there has been a three-fold increase in the number of COVID cases, from 74 around 18th April to 211 on 7th May, the High Court issued the following directions: i) The Registrar, JNU has been directed to file a status report pertaining to the steps that have been taken by the Administration regarding the requests and representations that have been made by the Petitioners dealing with the pandemic within the campus since 2020 and especially since April 13, 2021. ii) The VC/Registrar has been directed to ascertain the necessity and feasibility in respect of creation of the COVID care facility in the JNU campus and file a status report. “The report shall also take into consideration the proposals given by the Centre for Social Medicine and Community Health (CSMCH) as also the proposal for in-house production of oxygen, given by the School of Life Sciences. The authorities in JNU to consider if there is any modification required to the said proposals as has been suggested by the students and teachers associations. The modalities for creation of COVID care facility shall be mentioned in the report”. (iii) The SDM/ADM of the concerned area has been directed to place on record a status report as to whether a COVID care facility can be created at JNU in accordance with the guidelines applicable, and further indicate the manner in which doctors and paramedics, as also nurses, can be made available. Further, whether they would be tied up with any particular hospital, and to obtain the hospital’s concurrence for the same. (iv) The High Court directed the Registrar to convene a meeting today itself, chaired by the VC, to work out the formalities and protocols. Additionally, a second meeting is to be convened tomorrow, which is to include six representatives of the Students and Teachers Union, to discuss the proposals/letters for setting up the facility. The Order directs for the status reports to be emailed by the JNU administration and the ADM/SDM of the concerned area to the Court Master by 9 AM on 13th May, 2021. The matter will now be heard on 13th May, 2021, at 2.30 PM. The plea, filed by Advocates Abhik Chimni, Lakshay Garg and Shashwat Mehra, seeks various directions to the Respondent University to set up COVID care facilities, oxygen facilities (with the aid of SLS) in the University campus and consider the three-tier Consolidated Plan as prescribed by the CSMCH. It further prays for a mandamus directing the University to constitute a new COVID Response team consisting of personnel having technical expertise in the area of Public Health and Medicine, and other associated disciplines, thereby drawing a detailed plan to protect the students, teachers and non-teaching staff in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lastly, it seeks the imposition of a cost of Rs. 1,00,000/- upon the VC for the administrative negligence and poor handling of the pandemic, thereby causing risk to the health and lives of hundreds of personnel at the University. It had been submitted by Petitioners that despite repeated representations and letters to the University, the Secretary of Ministry of Education, the Secretary of the University Grants Commission etc., no action had been taken by the University to set up the facilities. Repeated letters to the SDM had also failed to evoke a response. “Mr. Chimni ld. Counsel, appearing for the Petitioners submits that the main grievance of the Petitioners is that the administration of the University as also the Govt. authorities to whom letters were written, have been completely silent to the repeated requests of the Petitioners qua setting up a COVID care facility and oxygen production facilities. Accordingly, they have been forced to approach this Court”. It had also been submitted by Chimni before the Court that the “right to life and health of all residents/occupants in the campus is under severe jeopardy” and that the JNU administration was “guilty of dereliction of duty”. Click Hear To Download/Read OrderTagsDelhi High Court COVID-19 Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) #Justice Prathiba M. Singh Next Storylast_img read more