The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) registered the complaint after students of the Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law (RGNUL), Patialawrote an application to the commission against the University’s notification on June 27 which demanded to full payment of fees for the upcoming semester.
Grievances are quoted that by this notification, the RGNUL administration is demanding unjust and disproportionate fees despite the COVID-19 pandemic and financial difficulties.
Submissions were made that RGNUL,by the June 27 notification had called for the payment of the full semester fee of Rs 1,13,5000 by July 10. The NHRC has been informed thatan application raising concern over the same was digitally signed by 659 of the 720 students at RGNUL.
The complaint stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about enormous economic burdens and financial constraints, making it difficult to pay the full fee demanded. The demand for the full semester fee on short notice (i.e. by July 10) only adds to the woes of the students.
Moreover the students point out that due to the premature closure of the campus and the subsequent declaration of summer vacations, a major portion of the fees already paid remains unutilised.
The students referred a recent judgment of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in this backdrop, wherein the Court had directed school managements to only levy the actual expenditure incurred when it comes to annual charges for the period of closure.
The students have expressed that they are not willing to pay any fee apart from the tuition fees for this period.
Dated July 3, the students had raised a grievance in the representationthat,
“…the university administration has not considered the prevalent issue with the required degree of seriousness and most of the genuine concerns remain unaddressed. It seems to be unreasonable, unjust and irrational on the part of university administration to fail to understand the plight of the students and their family members and not heed to the legitimate concerns of the students.”
A letter to the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the State’s Chief Minister and other concerned authorities urging for the grant of fee relief in view of the pandemic had also been addressed.
Read The Representation: