Single bench of Justice B S Walia of the Punjab and Haryana high court a notice to the Punjab government and Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law on a petition challenging the varsity’s decision not to reduce or waive the fee for upcoming semester.
The petition was filled by the law students Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law (RGNUL) Patiala for the issuance of writ of“Certiorari” and “mandamus” against the orders for ‘unjust’ and ‘disproportionate’ fees being charged by the University Admiration during COVID 19 lockdown.
The students challenged the order dated June 20, 2020 by the university which stated that the relief to students would merely include waiver of annual increase in tuition fee that is Rs. 5,000 and temporary postponement of mess fee, the petition stated that the notice is nothing but mere insult to the injury of the students and is arbitrary.
The petitioners stated that there has been no regular online classes as per the schedule announced, and the university continued to charge fees beyond the tuition fee amounting to 50% plus the actual warranted amount.
The students in their complaint stated that on June 27th 2020, they were served through a notification for the requisition of full fees for the upcoming semester which is Rs. 1,13,500, payable latest by July 10 and after the said date a late fee starting from Rs. 1,000 and increasing thereafter per week will be charged. It was highlighted that the university in addition to the tuition fee is charging fees totalling Rs. 41,000 for various heads such as Campus development fund, amenities fee, moot court fee, hostel fee etc whereas the university is completely shut and no one is residing in the hostel.
The petition also highlighted the fact that the University receives a huge grant from the Punjab government and has even exempted the rent for shops, canteen, mess and quarters to the tune of 25 per cent from March, but continues to force the students to pay the full fee.
Advocate, appearing on behalf of respondent, submitted that no late fees would be imposed upon the students. However, the Punjab Haryana High Court has issued notice to the university administration for seeking its reply and the matter has been fixed for July 17th for the further hearing.