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The Calcutta High Court (HC) on Tuesday directed the state government to hold students’ unions elections in academic institutions soon.
There has been no students’ union election in universities, colleges and other academ- ic institutions across the state since 2017.
The Division Bench of the chief justice TS Sivagnanam and justice Hiranmoy Bhattacharjee asked the Mamata Banerjee government to take all measures to conduct polls in universities, colleges and other academic institutions.
The Bench has also directed the government to form an anti-ragging committee in universities.
The HC issued the directives after advocate Sayan Banerjee filed a petition in the court bringing allegations against ongoing irregularities in connection with ragging issues in universities and colleges. Mr Banerjee alleged that universities approved by the University Grant Commission (UGC) are not properly implementing the recommendations made by the RK Raghavan Committee to prevent incidents of ragging.
It has also asked the state government to submit an affidavit giving details whether the latter has issued any direc- tives on holding timely students’ union elections in universities, colleges and aca- demic institutes. The gov- ernment has also been asked by the HC to submit a report whether it has issued any directive on formation of an anti-ragging committee.
The HC also wanted to know: “Who conducts students’ body elections?” With clearance from the state government universities make arrangements for holding elections. It is the duty of the respective universities to take approval from the state government to conduct elec- tions, Mr Banerjee said while responding to the HC.
The chief justice asked the state government to send notices to the universities directing the latter to take preparations for elections.
While addressing a rally organized by her party’s students wing Trinamul Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) on Mayo Road on 28 August the chief minister Mamata Banerjee had said students’ unions elections would be held after Durga Puja.
Earlier, ruling party MP Sougata Roy had also urged the government to hold stu- dents’ unions elections. The CPM students wing SFI for the last couple of years have also been demanding elections in academic institutions like universities, colleges and teaching hospitals