Faculty members of the West Bengal National University Of Juridicial Sciences on Friday said that the University has set up a Committee to look in to the recommendations of the Draft proposals for Service Rules and that the recommendations “have not been thrust upon us’’.
As reported in The Indian Express on Friday, the controversial proposed Service Rules as mentioned in the Draft includes provisions such as “Report on your relatives if they indulge in “subversive” activities, prevent your relatives from acting against the government, reveal your links to the media, seek prior sanction before going to the media.’’
WBNUJS is a premier institute of legal education with the Chief Justice of India as its Chancellor set up in 1999. The Service Rules are being drafted for its teaching and non-teaching staff, including those appointed on contract, daily wage and ad hoc basis.
The controversial rules include recommendations such as “it shall be the duty of every employee to prevent any member of his family from taking part in, subscribing in aid of, or assisting in any other manner any movement or activity which is, or tends directly or indirectly to be, subversive of the Government”. Another draft rule prohibits a married employee from marrying again. However, the Vice-Chancellor may permit such marriage if he or she is satisfied that it is permissible under the personal law applicable to such employee and the other party to the marriage, and if “there are other grounds for so doing”.
Dr Anupama Ghoshal, Head of the Social Sciences Centre at the NUJS who heads a number of committees says that the faculty is yet to receive copies of the draft. “This is just a draft. There have been discussions regarding the fact that a Draft will be made but we have yet to receive copies of this. Once that happens of course we will give our feedback because the University won’t pass it without our views and comments. But before that happens it is difficult to say anything,’’ she said.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Assistant Professor NUJS Dr. Anirban Chakraborty said that the University has so far never thrust any rules or regulations on either the students or its faculty forcibly.
“Whether it’s the students or the faculty – in NUJS no one has ever forced anything on us. We function in a democratic atmosphere where everyone respects the other persons freedom and human rights. Our VC is an extremely eminent person and we have complete faith on him. That atmosphere of undemocratic authoritarianism does not exist in NUJS – it never has and never will. And in case someone does try and impose such undemocratic regulations, then we have enough knowledge, intelligence and reserves of strength to be able to fight it if need be. As of now, this is just a Draft and I am not at all bothered by it,’’ he said.
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While most faculty members remained reluctant to discuss what has been proposed, some faculty members indicated that the Draft had already been rejected by them. “Many of us have already expressed our views to the Committee which is looking at the Draft and have rejected it completely. We are all intelligent professionals and love our jobs and we will not accept such regulations. The faculty members of NUJS have always been a very vocal lot, especially about matters of human rights. We will never accept anything that threatens our democratic rights,’’ said a senior faculty member not wanting to be named.