Taking a serious view of the utter disregard shown to the court orders for granting provisional admission to a girl student, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday issued a criminal contempt notice to the Dean of Admissions of the Chandigarh College of Architecture, Sohan Lal.
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The criminal contempt notice was issued by the court comprising Justices Surya Kant and Sudip Ahluwalia after petitioner Kritika Verma’s counsel Amar Vivek informed the court that not only the dean had refused to comply with court orders but had also used derogatory language against the petitioner and her father when they approached him along with the court orders dated October 24. The court was informed that Lal even went on to say that the court orders were worth being thrown into the dustbin. The dean, as informed by the petitioner, told her that until and unless the Ministry of Human Resource Development directs him to admit her, the petitioner would not be admitted by him to the college under any circumstances.
When the case came up for hearing in the morning session on Thursday, the court not only issued directions for compliance with its orders to the college authorities to grant provisional admission to the petitioner but also directed the dean to remain present in the court at 2 pm to show cause as to why criminal contempt of court proceedings be not initiated against him. “It is made clear that if he (dean) will show any reluctance in this regard, we will be constrained to take coercive action to secure his presence,” the court remarked.
In the afternoon, the dean was present in the court and assured the court of compliance with the court orders. Later in the afternoon, the petitioner was granted provisional admission by the college. The dean now
has to file his detailed reply to the petitioner’s submissions to the court on November 15.
The petitioner had approached the High Court after the college had denied her admission in the Bachelor of Architecture course in ‘single girl child’ category. The petitioner had submitted that the college is bound to create and include two additional seats for the single girl child as per law and not including such a seat in the affiliated colleges of Panjab University is illegal and arbitrary.
Although the single judge bench of the High Court had dismissed the petitioner’s plea, she had challenged the same before the division bench of the High Court which in turn had ordered on October 22 to grant provisional admission to the petitioner at her own risk for the limited purpose of attending classes and completion of lectures subject to the outcome of the pending petition.