JNU Evicted Blind Student: Delhi HC Directs University to Provide Free Interim Accommodation
The Delhi High Court has issued a directive to Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to allow a visually impaired student, who was previously evicted from the hostel, to stay in a campus guest house without any charges for the time being. This decision comes in response to the student's counsel highlighting that the interim accommodation provided by JNU was being charged at a rate of Rs 100 per day, which was financially burdensome for the 100% blind student.
Background: Eviction and Legal Challenge
The court order stems from a petition challenging the eviction of Sanjeev Kumar Mishra from the hostel. The university cited rules that prohibit hostel accommodation for students pursuing a second postgraduate course. However, the petitioner's lawyer argued that a blanket application of this rule disregards individual physical disabilities.
Legal Proceedings and Interim Arrangements
The court had initially issued notice to JNU on January 4, instructing them to respond within a week. However, as of January 22, no response had been filed, and no representation was made on behalf of the university during the hearing.
In light of the petitioner's precarious living situation, the court had granted an interim arrangement on January 4, allowing JNU to offer him accommodation until the next hearing. This interim arrangement was explicitly tied to the outcome of the ongoing petition.
Current Directive and Future Proceedings
During the hearing on January 22, the petitioner's counsel revealed that JNU was charging Rs 100 per day for the provided room. In response, the court directed the university to allow the petitioner to stay in the room without any fees until the next hearing. The court has given JNU a final opportunity of 10 days to submit a response to the petition.