“Ahmed, a Muslim kills a cow in a market in the presence of Rohit, Tushar, Manav and Rahul, who are Hindus. Has Ahmed committed any offence?” This was among the questions in a third-semester end term examination for law students of the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIPU).
The question formed a part of the Law of Crimes-I paper held on December 7. Of the colleges affiliated to GGSIPU, ten offer the LLB course and received the question paper.
As an image of the question paper surfaced on social media, the university, when contacted, said it “regretted” the question and decided to “delete” it, and that students will not be evaluated on their answer. Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia said he had ordered an inquiry into the matter.
“It is very bizarre and seems to be an attempt to disturb the harmony of society. We won’t tolerate such misconduct. I am ordering an inquiry, and if found true, strongest action will be taken,” Sisodia said.
Bilal Anwar Khan, a Supreme Court lawyer, tweeted an image of the question paper Sunday night and wrote, “Here is a new normal, de-humanising an entire community. A law college at Narela, NCR’s third-semester question paper (sic)”.
The college he was referring to is the Chandra Prabhu Jain (CPJ) College of Higher Studies and School of Law at Narela, which is affiliated to GGSIPU.
Khan said he had written to the university and the college about the matter but was yet to receive a response. In his email, he said, “The nature of question paper is highly derogatory in its form and nature against particular class and community. The question blatantly dehumanises one community which is against the very spirit of the Constitution of India and the egalitarian values… Please kindly take the appropriate action against such vilification.”
Neeta Beri, Principal of the School of Law at CPJ College, said the university had made the question paper but added that she did not feel the need to take up the matter with the authorities. “I was not aware of this paper as I have been on leave, but I don’t think I need to raise a voice against this. It’s a question of law. Any situation can arise, and the court can be asked to take a decision on the same,” she said.
An official at GGSIPU’s examination department said the paper was drafted in utmost confidentiality. While he did not reveal the examiner’s name, he said, “Questions are being asked on the basis of what is happening in society. It’s a good thing to ask students such questions so that they can correlate legal provision with the facts of the society. It has to be seen only from the academic perspective.”
However, GGSIPU Registrar Satnam Singh said the university “regretted the error”. “You cannot connect anything to any religion. Of course it is bad. We do regret the question, and as of now the question stands deleted. No marks will be given for it, either for those who have attempted or for those who have not attempted. In future, we will also give an advisory to the examiners, that such questions should not be asked,” he told The Indian Express.