SC questions DU on steps for blind students in new programme

New Delhi, May 27 (IANS) The Supreme Court Monday asked Delhi University to state what steps it has taken to address the grievances of blind students in the four-year undergraduate degree courses to be launched from this year.

An apex court bench of Justice B.S. Chauhan and Justice Dipak Misra directed senior counsel V.P. Singh, appearing for Delhi University, to file an affidavit stating what the students’ grievances were and “what you are providing them”.

“Mr. Singh, you file an affidavit on what facilities you are offering,” Justice Chauhan said.

Adjourning the matter till May 29, the court said it would issue directives if it was not convinced by the university’s reply.

NGO Sambhavna had moved the Supreme Court to voice the concern of the blind students.

The Delhi University is to implement the four-year undergraduate programme from its next academic session in July this year.

The Delhi High Court earlier declined to interfere with the university’s decision to introduce the four-year undergraduate course on the grounds of its being a policy decision.

Counsel for Sambhavna said the introduction of four-year undergraduate course was not a policy decision and was against the norms of the University Grants Commission.

Justice Chauhan asked the NGO’s counsel: “How do you say the order passed by the high court is illegal?”

“These are policy decisions in which we don’t interfere,” he said.

The high court asked the university’s empowered committee to take into account the grievances of the visually challenged students who felt that they would suffer if the new four-year course was introduced.

University counsel told the court that university had given them lap tops and other facilities. The court was told this in response to its query as to what was being provided to the blind students whose cause was being espoused by the NGO Sambhavna.

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