Give basic facilities to MU Fort campus: Bombay High Court

High Court expresses dissatisfaction over lack of basic amenities, directs varsity to take action in two weeks

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Give basic facilities to MU Fort campus: Bombay High Court
Bombay High Court


The Bombay High Court on Wednesday expressed displeasure at the lack of facilities being provided to the University of Mumbai and SNDT College Tribunal housed at the Fort campus. It has asked the University to provide basic amenities to it in two weeks.

As per a government resolution issued in 1995, the tribunal was set up as a first appeal body to hear or resolve issues arising out of admission and other areas. The jurisdiction of the tribunal covers University of Mumbai (MU) and SNDT Women's University.

A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Riyaz Chagla said, "How is the tribunal expected to function without the lack of basic amenities like computers, staff etc." The court said the University may not be in a good condition, but facilities mentioned in the government resolution in setting up the tribunal have to be provided.

The direction was given while hearing a public interest litigation filed by practicing advocate Pravartak Suhas Pathak, who witnessed the lack of facilities when he appeared at the tribunal to argue a case for an assistant professor.

According to Pathak's petition, the tribunal has been allotted a very small area to operate from, and there is a shortage of support staff hampering its work. Pathak collected information under the Right to Information Act and found that necessary legal software for research work was not provided to the presiding officer, who is a retired High Court judge. Also, the tribunal does not have a website for case information. All these factors were having an impact on dispensation of justice, and in view of the same, the litigants are likely to get affected, the petition states.

It also says that the post of a presiding officer was vacant for sometime, and that it was only recently that it had been filled. The PIL prays for directions to the government and university to provide all necessary facilities, fill up staff vacancies and other facilities for smooth functioning of the tribunal.

The matter has been posted for further hearing on June 20, and for studying the report that will be submitted.

Empty seats

In GR dated August 19, 1995, one post each of a junior grade stenographer, clerk-cum-typist and peon were set.
While a GR dated June 6,1996, sanctioned two junior stenographers, clerk-cum-typists and a post for assistant registrar.
All these are now lying vacant, affecting the work of the tribunal, the petitioner has claimed.

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