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Adivasi student running from pillar to post for justice

What Sanjay Meena, a Scheduled Tribe student, is going through is an example of what you may have to face if a private university or college is forced to give admission to you against the wishes of its administration

Adivasi student Sanjay Meena is running from pillar to post seeking justice. His crime: He exposed how Jaipur-based ICFAI Law School unjustly denied admission to him, forcing the management to admit him. He had to face mental torture and within three months, he was thrown out of the college.

The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes had taken up the issue and has sought explanation from the chief secretary, additional chief secretary and secretary of the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of Rajasthan, and Director General of Police, Rajasthan, on the complaint of the student.

ICFAI, Jaipur

When FORWARD Press contacted Naresh Pal Meena, director of the Jaipur regional office of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, he said that they were keeping a close watch on the case. When asked what he thought about the case, he said: “There can be no two opinions that injustice had been done to the student and we have shared our view with the regional chapter of the university [ICFAI] and the police station concerned. Fresh notices have been issued on 12 December and reply has been sought within 30 days. If there is no response within the stipulated period, warrant will be issued.”

Naresh Pal Meena added, “The victim student has submitted documentary evidence which proves that the final report was manipulated.”

Sanjay Meena (encircled) is pictured here with his friends

Sanjay Meena told FORWARD Press that he had filled out the form for admission to the first-year LLB course on 28 August, three days before the last date, 31 August. But the administration kept delaying acceptance of the form, citing shortcomings in it and declined to admit him after the expiry of the last date. However, he came to know that admissions were being given by the backdoor. A student told him that he was admitted on 6 September on the condition that Sanjay wouldn’t tell anyone. He taped the conversation and on its basis, filed a complaint on the university website as well as with the UGC. He was then hurriedly admitted on 14 December.

The final report of the university management says that the student approached ICFAI for the first time on 14 September and was admitted to LLB first year on the same day. The report says that the last date was extended by three weeks. But according to the student, when he had complained to the E.N. Murthy, a member of the Board of Directors of ICFAI, on 6 September about his admission, the question of him approaching ICFAI Law School, Jaipur, for the first time on 14 September does not arise. The student has also objected to several other assertions in the final report with documentary evidence.

The final report says that he had taken admission to two regular courses. Sanjay Meena, however, says that he told the ICFAI Law School management that he wanted to pursue LLB from there and would withdraw his admission to the Jaipur National University. But immediately after taking admission, a situation was created that made it impossible for him to visit Jaipur National University to withdraw his admission. His mental torture started from day one and he was so disturbed that he couldn’t withdraw his admission.

According to Sanjay, he was summoned to the chamber of Rajesh Kothari, director and vice-chancellor, ICFAI Jaipur, almost every day and humiliated. He was asked to get a haircut and trim his beard and was insulted with comments like “no matter how many seats are reserved for you people, you will remain as uncouth and rustic as ever”. Sanjay added, “When I lodged a complaint about this with E.N. Murthy, a member of the Board of Directors of ICFAI, and on the website of the university and with the UGC, Rajesh Kothari flew off the handle. “He called me to his chamber and threatened me. He said that he would make sure I wouldn’t get to study there. Then, he called the security guard, who assaulted me. A false report was lodged against me at the police station and I was suspended from the university.”

Rajesh Kothari, director and vice-chancellor of ICFAI, Jaipur, told FORWARD Press that all the charges against him and the institution were false, baseless and motivated. “The student’s expulsion from the university is in keeping with the rules. He had taken admission for two courses in two universities, which is not allowed.”

Translation: Amrish Herdenia; copy-editing: Anil

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About The Author

Kumar Sameer

Kumar Sameer is a senior journalist. He has worked for several newspapers including 'Rashtriya Sahara'. He has also been the resident editor of the Delhi edition of the Hindi daily 'National Duniya'

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