The Delhi High Court Friday stayed the Jawaharlal Nehru University’s (JNU) academic and executive councils’ decision to make attendance mandatory for faculty members.
Justice Suresh Kumar Kait, however, said that action against the unauthorised absence of teaching staff be taken as per rules prevalent before the Academic Council (AC) decision of July 13, 2018, making marking of attendance mandatory.
On January 14, the court, in its interim order, had stayed the JNU administration’s directive denying leave to faculty members who fail to mark their attendance or submit students’ attendance records.
The court also issued a notice to JNU on the plea challenging the decisions of the AC and Executive Council (EC) of the university and listed the matter for further hearing on May 3.
JNU professor Ayesha Kidwai’s counsel submitted before the court that the two councils did not follow proper procedure when taking the decision, which also included bringing in a biometric system of marking attendance. Her counsel said that asking for biometrics amounted to breach of privacy of an individual.
Central government standing counsel Monika Arora, appearing for JNU, told the court that if marking of attendance was not mandatory, it would be difficult to ensure the presence of teaching faculty as many of them go on vacation for months together. Advocates Harsh Ahuja and Kushal Sharma, also appearing for JNU, pointed out that students have complained against such long-term absence of teaching staff.