Friday, December 9, 2022

JNU to file status report today on plea seeking direction to create Covid care facility in campus

The Court directed the Registrar to immediately respond and file a status report as to what are the steps taken by the administration of JNU in regard of the request made by the petitioner to the SDM/ADM of the concerned area.

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The Jawaharlal Nehru University will today file a status report with regard to a petition filed by its students and faculty, seeking direction from the Delhi High Court, to create a Covid Care Facility in the campus, while stating that the right to life and health is under severe jeopardy.

A single-judge bench of Prathiba M Singh had yesterday said that there is no doubt that there is space in JNU and the SDM and the authorities are ought to be directed to create a Covid Care Facility, which the JNU faculty and students will operate.

The Court directed the Registrar to immediately respond and file a status report as to what are the steps taken by the administration of JNU in regard of the request made by the petitioner to the SDM/ADM of the concerned area.

The Court also directed to place a status report on whether such facility can be created within the guidelines applicable to JNU and how doctors and nurses be made available or attached to a hospital.

“The Registrar, JNU should also ascertain as to weather the production of oxygen within the campus is feasible and also if any modifications are required to the proposal. The Registrar and the Vice Chancellor (VC) should hold a meeting by today itself with six representatives of student and faculty. List for tomorrow, on May 12, 2021,” said the Delhi High Court.

The Delhi High Court was hearing the petition filed by the “JNU Teachers association through Moushami Basu”.

The petitioner are the students and faculties of JNU, who want to create a Covid Care Facility in the campus. The petitioner said at the outbreak of the second wave of the pandemic, at around second week of April, the petitioner wrote a letter to the Registrar of JNU, highlighting the alarming growth of COVID-19 in the campus, seeking steps to be taken for controlling the situation.

A notification is stated to be issued on April 18 by the Deputy Registrar of JNU, constituting a COVID-19 task force and a COVID-19 response team. Another letter has been sent by the petitioner, stating that there is a massive surge within the campus and some urgent steps need to be taken.

The same is followed by letters on April 19 and 23, 2021 to the ADM, New Delhi, seeking intervention. The petitioner then contacted the SDM for setting up an isolation and quarantine centre. Despite repeated letters to the JNU authorities, the Ministry of Education and the UGC Secretary, no action has been taken for setting up the Covid Care Facility.

The petitioner yesterday submitted before the Court that they themselves had requested the faculty of Center for Social Medicine and Community Health for drawing up plans for COVID Care, which has submitted proper proposals in this respect.

Further there is also a plan, which has been revised by the school of life science in JNU campus for production of oxygen within the campus itself. Repeated letters to the SDM and the authorities in JNU has not evoked any response hence the present petition.

On behalf of the petitioner, Mr Abhik Chimni submitted that the administration is on complete silence to the petitioner and they have been forced to approach this court.

On behalf of the respondents, Senior Counsel Ms Monika accepted the Notice, said that since she is appearing on advance copy, she does not have instructions as to what steps have to be taken within the University dealing with the second wave of COVID-19. She sought time for the instructions.

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Aditya Khanna, appearing on behalf of SDM and GNCTD, submitted that since the entire campus is under the control of authority of JNU, they are unable to do anything however if the university coordinate they will help in making a covid care facility in campus which will be attached to some hospital.

The Delhi High Court noted that the first letter was on May 30, 2021, which is one month. The University is bound to take care of health and make available the facility within the campus.

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