The czar is toppled; I will stand by you, HNLU Chancellor assures student body of a new era

Bar & Bench October 8 2018

"The revolution is over. The czar is toppled. The time to build the nation has begun."

Chancellor of the Hidayatullah National Law University (HNLU), Raipur and Chief Justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court Ajay Kumar Tripathi made the appeal on a visit to the University yesterday, nearly a week after student protests against the reinstatement of erstwhile Vice-Chancellor (VC) Dr Sukh Pal Singh came to a victorious end.

Addressing the student gathering, Justice Tripathi promised the start of a new era, and called for cooperation from the students and faculty alike in re-building HNLU. He said,

"I don't want my children to suffer. The day I came to know that my children are going on a fast, i could neither sleep nor eat properly. That was the day I decided that curtains have to be drawn on the era which is the reason for all the friction and bad blood which was created in the university.

Friends, Romans and countrymen, I have not come to bury Caesar. Caesar has already been buried on the 3rd. I have come to bury the past. Let's draw the curtains on the bygone era. We have to now start building it afresh. It is my request to all the revolutionaries amongst the students, employees, faculty that they must return to the barracks...

I have come to assure all of you that now HNLU is going to make a new beginning. We are all going to out our best to make sure that not only the respect but even the talent is noticed by one and all. Please focus your energy in academics. Enough of time, blood, sweat and tears have gone on other activities. Request the faculty to give their best."

He also assured the students that they would have the University's support in academics and to bring in new laurels for HNLU. Previously, the students had raised the issue of insufficient support from the University, particularly in terms of financial aid, when it came to participation and conduct of moot courts and seminars.

Perhaps in an effort to put such apprehensions to rest, the Chancellor said,

"This institution has laurels. Somehow that energy got down diverted. The academics has taken a toll. I have a lot of emotions and expectations.

... Focus on studies. Bring laurels to the University. I will stand by you. I will not...be a silent spectator. I will make sure that whatever is required to be done for the University is done within a reasonable time frame."

Notably, the Chancellor has also indicated that he is in the midst of trying to bring in more faculty to HNLU.

"We will prioritise on issues that need immediate attention. Recently I attended the GC meeting and convocation of NLS. Quality teachers is one issue that cant be resolved overnight. I'm told large number of teachers were made to leave this univ. Will request them to return home and contribute to the building of HNLU. HNLU has to achieve the landmark for which it was envisaged."

He concluded his speech on a humorous note, remarking,

"The first thing which came to my mind and somebody also said was maybe the vastu of this place is wrong. To my mind it was yathastu (VC) that was wrong. Thank you."

He has also promised to make regular visits to the University hereafter, to ensure that everything takes place in a lawful manner.

Echoing the Chancellor's message, the Student Bar Association has also made an appeal to the students of HNLU, urging that they aim for success in academic fields since the University is now theirs with all its resources at their full disposal.

The appointment of Interim VC, CB Bajpai on October 3 has also led the student body to assume an optimistic outlook of the University's future prospects. VC Bajpai’s appointment was made two days after week-long student protests at HNLU came to an end, with former VC, Dr Sukh Pal Singh agreeing to step down from the post.

Dr. Singh’s tenure had initially been cut short by the Chhattisgarh High Court last August, on grounds that his 2014-term extension was prematurely made without any legal sanction. His return to the University last week, on the back of a Supreme Court stay on the High Court judgment, promptly reignited student protests. However, on October 1, Dr Singh finally acceded to popular student demand and resigned from his office.

On his arrival, VC Bajpai had immediately called for a student meeting to assure them that he would work for their best interests. The students in turn has also released a statement expressing their delight at the positive approach of interim VC Bajpai.

Image Courtesy: Akansh Jain

Read full speech of HNLU Chancellor, Justice AK Tripathi below:

 

Chancellor-HNLU-Speech-Oct7

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