The Calcutta High Court said the matter will be taken up for hearing again on September 19
The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday directed the West Bengal government to immediately ask all universities to conduct students' union elections and set up anti-ragging committees if these have not been done already.
The directions came following the death of a first-year undergraduate student at Jadavpur University after alleged ragging by seniors in a hostel around a month ago. Student union elections have not been held in colleges and universities of the state for several years.
A division bench led by Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam asked the Bengal government to state in an affidavit whether any directive has been sent to the state's universities/institutions about the timely conduct of elections to students' unions and the constitution of anti-ragging committees.
"If that has not been done, we direct the state government to immediately issue appropriate directions to all universities/institutions for the conduct of students' union elections and forthwith constitution of anti-ragging committees and anti-ragging squads," the court directed.
The division bench, also comprising Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharyya, also directed that the elections should be held after observing all the formalities as the court was informed that approval is required from the state government before elections are permitted to be conducted.
Referring to a report by the RK Raghavan Committee constituted as per directions of the Supreme Court, which had recommended forming anti-ragging squads in all universities and conducting elections to the student unions, the petitioner prayed for implementation of these in the educational institutions in the state.
Lawyer petitioner Sayan Banerjee, who appeared in person, submitted that in spite of such a report submitted by the committee and communication sent by the UGC, the recommendations of the panel have not been implemented to date in the state.
The petitioner claimed that the last elections for student unions in universities/institutions in the state were conducted in 2017.
The bench directed that the matter will be taken up for hearing again on September 19.
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