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High Court slams Mumbai varsity for 'insensitivity'

Coming down hard on Mumbai University officials, a vacation bench of Bombay High Court yesterday asked the varsity to explain its insensitive approach towards three students, who are in a limbo, following the decision of university officials to deny them permission to appear for their exams last week.

The petitioners had appeared for exams in May last year, and their results were held in a ‘reserve copying case’ after their answer sheets were seized by police as part of muddemaal (seized properties), when they arrested a university employee in a copying racket. MiD DAY had reported about the incident (‘Fate of 3 engineering students in HC hands,’ May 19).

Seeking answers
A bench comprising justices SJ Kathawalla and PD Kode has now asked the university officials to explain why they dragged their feet in acquiring certified photocopies of the answer sheets from the police. The court has also asked the university chancellor, vice-chancellor and the governor of Maharashtra to take note of the varsity’s insensitivity. The court observed, “Datta Ghuge, deputy registrar, examination section of Mumbai University, who is before the court, is unable to explain why the matter was referred to the unfair means inquiry committee only after a period of three months.”

Denial of rights
Ghuge, through his advocate Chandrakanta Gongane, informed the court that the committee had not even called the students to explain themselves, denying them their right to be heard. The court further noted, “The only reason given to the court for such insensitive conduct on the part of the committee as well as Mumbai University was that the papers confiscated from the said peon is with police authorities.” The university applied to obtain copies of the papers only in April 2012. 

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