Taking cognisance of the exorbitant fees (Rs 50,000 per semester) charged by the Jawaharlal Nehru University for its PhD course in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee School of Management and Entrepreneurship, the Delhi High Court has directed JNU to re-determine the fee structure and place the report on record on the next date of hearing.
The orders were passed by the single-judge Bench of Justice Purushaindra Kumar Kaurav on Monday on a batch of petitions filed by JNU students, alleging that the fees was recently hiked from Rs 5000 per semester to Rs 50,000 per semester.
The petitioners pointed out that the fee per semester for PhD in other schools in JNU was Rs 120 per semester, which was 417 times less than what the PhD scholars in ABVSME were paying.
After hearing the arguments, the High Court directed JNU to grant provisional registration to the petitioners in the next higher semester for the Ph.D. course on deposition of fees amounting to Rs 5,000 for each semester.
It observed that the deposition of Rs 5,000 for each semester was without prejudice to the rights and contentions raised by the parties.
It said at this stage, the High Court was not examining the merits of the case, in view of the fact that the respondent-University was itself inclined to redetermine the fees for the Ph.D. course.
Since the respondent-University itself was re-examining the aforesaid aspect, therefore, the hearing of the petition has been deferred for four weeks, it added and listed the matter for further hearing on December 13.
The petitioners were represented by Advocates Raavi Kumar Jotwani, Inderjeet Dagar and Nishant Kumar.
Advocates Mrinmayee Sahu, Sandeep Kumar Mahapatra, Kritika Sharma and Tribhuvan appeared for the respondents.
The UGC was represented by Advocates Ashwarya Sinha and Aditya Malhotra. Central Government Standing Counsel Monika Arora appeared for the Union of India (UOI).
(Case title: Dipanshu Nijanandi & Ors vs Jawaharlal Nehru University & Ors)