From using e-communication platforms to campaign to erecting walls in colleges specifically for pasting banners, the Delhi High Court has issued a series of guidelines to prevent defacement of property during the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections.
The High Court said that those flouting the guidelines will be disqualified and penalised under The Delhi Prevention of Defacement of Property Act, 2007, as well as Metro Rail (Operation and Maintenance) Act, 2002, as there have been instances of spray paint being used on the Metro premises to write slogans near university campuses.
The May 29 order came after a writ petition was filed by lawyer Prashant Manchanda on defacement of property on university campuses to an extent that publicity material is even pasted in classrooms by leaders of student outfits.
The guidelines mandate forming permanent committees at university and college levels on the first day of the new academic session. The committee has to comprise a police officer, DMRC and civic body officials, and a senior faculty member nominated by the Vice-Chancellor.
The guidelines state:
A workshop to sensitise students about provisions of the laws.
Encouraging candidates and students to use online platforms such as e-mail and apps for the purpose of campaigning.
The university or college shall ensure that the candidature will be accepted only when they furnish an affidavit stating they or their supporters will not indulge in defacement. In case of a violation, they will be liable to be disqualified.
The college committee will also maintain a record of those students who, even before the formal announcements of the election schedule by the university, start sending pamphlets, banners to publicise their names as prospective candidates.
Every DU college should arrange two ‘Walls of Democracy’ within its premises to be used by candidates and their supporters for putting up homemade banners/slogans during the elections. One wall should be dedicated for candidates for DUSU elections and the other for the Students’ Union of the particular college.