The University of Mumbai (MU) informed the Bombay High Court Thursday that it has always provided security at the time of student council election, and assured that it will continue to do so. The court has given its nod to the University for holding the election on January 15.
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was placed before the bench of Justices S J Vazifdar and Gautam Patel, seeking a stay on the election and directing the University to ban entry of students from political parties to the University campus till the last day of election. The petition states that there is interference of political parties on the current electoral process for choosing the president and secretary.
The court, however, said not allowing entry to a genuine student belonging to a political party was not feasible. “Suppose there is a genuine student belonging to party, you cannot stop him,” said Justice Patel.
Appearing for the petitioner Manoj Tekade, president of the student organisation PRAHAR, advocate Samta Kakade told the court that a woman University representative, Bhagyashree Sawant, from city’s Maharashi Dayanand College received threat calls from political parties.
“If the person concerned has any grievance of the alleged nature, they’re always at liberty to file a complaint giving details to University authorities, including the Director of Students’ Welfare,” said Justice Vazifdar.
MU’s counsel Rui Rodrigues assured the court that as far as providing security for candidates was concerned, the University had been doing so and would continue to do so. “As per the University rules, every candidate at the time of scrutiny is allowed to have her or his authorised representative present at the venue,” said Rodrigues.
The court was of the view that if there was any untoward incident, there were remedies available for the aggrieved party. The bench, while posting the matter on January 16, said the court can always take suo motu action.