Uttaranchal HC directs State to Open a National Law University in three months

Uttaranchal High Court: The Division Bench comprising of Rajiv Sharma and Lok Pal Singh, JJ., directed the State Government to start the National Law University (NLU) in the State within three months from the date of judgment and to run the University from the government buildings or by hiring a private accommodation. Court further mentioned that the first academic session shall start from September 2018 and necessary permission shall be obtained.

The National Law University of Uttarakhand Act, 2011 (Uttarakhand Act No.11 of 2011) has been promulgated and came into force but despite that, the State Government had failed in establishing the NLU. As per Section 3(4) of the Act, the Head Office of the University shall be at Bhowali, Nainital.  However, the state asserted that the land required for the establishment of the University was not available at Bhowali. The petitioner suggested that if the land is not available at Bhowali, there is about 1500 acres of land available at G.B. Pant University, Pant Nagar, and District Udham Singh Nagar.

The Court collected information in this regard with the assistance of the District Magistrate, Udham Singh Nagar and found that sufficient land was available. The land available was more than 1800 acres whereas the land required for the University was only 10 acres. Court also noted that it may be that the land was not available at Bhowali but it is difficult to believe that the land is not available in the entire State for the establishment of the University. It was clarified by the Court that it was not dealing with the policy matter but with an enactment providing for the establishment of University under Section 3 of the Act. It was further observed that the primary objective of the University was vanished due to the reason of ‘red-tapism’.

Therefore the Hon’ble Court directed the State to frame the regulations within a period of one month along with the appointments in the University including those of teaching faculty and ministerial staff in a span of 3 months.[Bhupal Singh Bhakuni v. State of Uttarakhand, 2018 SCC OnLine Utt 563, order dated 19-06-2018]

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