An open letter to the GNLU Director – Dr. Bimal N Patel

Dear Bimal Patel Ji,

I have always held you and your institution in high esteem. I still vividly remember doing a story in 2011, while I was covering CLAT, which indicated the GNLU as the biggest gainer of CLAT 2011. I have even advised many CLAT aspirants to opt for the GNLU above many other law schools, since I strongly felt  that, the GNLU would emerge as one of the best law schools in the country considering the pace of its growth. I admire the steps you have been taking to make the GNLU a truly world class University in the next five years.

However, I feel the year 2012 has not been good for GNLU and its growth. A lot of things have brought GNLU in news for the wrong reasons which the administration could have avoided.

CLAT aspirant, Donnie Ashok, had to file a writ petition in the Gujarat High Court against the GNLU for refusing him admission to the university on the ground that he did not clear the 10+2 exam in his first attempt. The High Court had directed GNLU and the CLAT convenor to keep one seat vacant at GNLU. However, the matter was later amicably settled and Donnie was granted a seat. GNLU could have avoided this litigation and the cost involved had the GNLU considered the merits of Donnie’s case earlier within the system; which the GNLU did not do.

Few months later  GNLU was in the news for making 189 of its students to contribute 4 hours of community work, viz. gardening, weeding, watering plants, planting trees for attending a party without ‘authorisation’ from the college authorities. Personally I have felt this to be an invasion on the privacy of the students. The administration has nothing to do with the personal life of students outside the campus. I am sure that the students of the GNLU are capable of choosing between right and wrong.

Again the GNLU was in the news for alleged arbitrary admissions. As per the report of Times of India, a senior forest official had alleged that the University was following arbitrary rules and regulations in the admission process thereby doing injustice to students who deserve admission on the basis of merit. It is often alleged that though the Review Commission was appointed to plan and execute the list of criteria to make GNLU, a true world class University in the next five years; what fuelled the immediate formation of the Review Committee was the TOI report regarding arbitrary admissions.

Allegedly 400+ students had submitted a Petition to the Review Committee, a copy of which is with me. I was terribly disappointed after reading the Petition. The students raised issues about non appointment of a permanent Registrar, need for a students’ association, mandatory PSU internship, examination rules, back door admissions and a lot of other things. Once, you told me during a telephone conversation on this petition, “See the issue is not about a Bimal or a Raghul but the University”. Considering and respecting that fact, I have not let the report out in the media and have only made a brief reference about the same in a report which I did recently.

The petition also raised the issues relating to detention and goodness marks norms which has been quashed by Gujarat High Court.

It was sad for me to learn that you were filing an appeal against the order of the learned single Judge. The Court while setting aside the goodness mark norm mentioned that, “by including this ‘Goodness’ marks condition, the University has “given a tool in the hands of the faculty members, which could be used by them at their own whims and caprice. Such discretionary power in the hands of the faculty members would change the atmosphere of the college like for bad where everything would be under the command and control of the faculty members and the students would refrain from a free discussion in the class-room with the fear that if their view-point annoys the concerned faculty then it would weigh against them at the time of awarding the “goodness” marks. Such discretionary power is against the spirit of education”.

It is also a disheartening fact that the expenses for pursuing litigation are being met out of University exchequer when the said amount could be used for other fruitful purposes like development of infrastructure or for providing fee concession to under privileged kids who enter the law schools.

I am in full agreement with the view of the learned single Judge regarding the detention norms and goodness mark norm that the same should be quashed. These two rules will only be a blot on free academic atmosphere that a law university like GNLU asserts to guarantee. Hence, I humbly request you to honour the decision of the learned single judge of the Gujarat High Court and withdraw the appeal you have filed. I sincerely hope that the matter is amicably settled and GNLU emerges as the best legal institution of the country in the years to come. As you rightly pointed out, the issue is not about a person but about the University!

Best Regards,
Raghul Sudheesh

Image Courtesy: Bar & Bench

8 comments: (+add yours?)

Amit Sharma said...

Director is using for his personal financial gains Regulation 26 of the 2009 Regulations; which provides that Director can do private practice of Legal Consultancy and can render advisory services. He is selectively sending out signals on receiving recommendations to relax rules to bring legal consultancy/advisory services work. Those students who bring such work for him, he relaxes rules in their cases. Regulation 26 is an open corruption regulation and is nothing but private tuition fees. If a person of Director's stature indulges in such kind of financial gains for relaxing rules, and awarding grace marks, and passing in re-evaluation, his conduct is unbecoming of the Director and clearly sends the message amongst the students and others that exam results are sold. Kindly read Regulation 26 of GNLU Regulations, 2009. No student will come forward to say that this signal has been given to him by the Director, or that he has brought such work for the fear of being victimised. It is terribly disappointing that he has been pressuring many students to send mails to Dr. Madhav Menon in his praise and threatening students to face evil consequences if they send mails against him. There is an evil connection between the Director and a few selected teachers for personal financial gains. An example of this is the appointment of Mr. Thomas Mathew, a Science teacher, as the Acting Registrar. There is unrest amongst many faculty members, who are being victimised by GNLU, but they are afraid of coming out in open. As you have pointed out, there is an ADMISSION SCAM. He has been selling seats ever since he joined GNLU. Evidence regarding this can be obtained from the Accounts Dept. of the college, which contains the names of the students who have deposited fees and if the names of the students are compared with CLAT EXAM'S MERIT LIST, it will be noticed that some of them have either not appeared in CLAT EXAMINATION, or they have not secured required cut-off for admisison in GNLU. There is a RECRUITMENT SCAM also, as he is appointing people of his choice and appointing others by accepting financial gains. LET THERE BE A CBI ENQUIRY, OR ENQUIRY BY ANTI-CORRUPTION BUREAU OF GUJARAT POLICE TO UNEARTH ALL HIS SCAMS. WE, A FEW STUDENTS, ARE ALSO PLANNING TO APPROACH THE HON'BLE SC.

Anjali said...

I think it's an extremely well written, polite and humble letter. GNLU will never become a world class university if the students are unhappy with half the policies in place that are supposedly for their benefit. The admin of GNLU must make sure that nothing sabotages GNLU's progress because this in turn will ensure the progress of the students. Clearly a meaningless appeal of the judgement is not the best way to do that.

eisenheim said...

a well written letter covering the points which i am sure most of the students feel about the college. while most colleges go through rough patches,its sad when the head of the university is not ready to bow down to what is right. i wish there would be some way to differentiate between the stand taken by the director personally and that he has taken for the university.

brothers grimm said...

all that a student can say is that the view shared by the director is not shared by the college as a whole, and that we are also against such a meaningless appeal being filed. a sad display of the excessive power that he holds.hope your letter is able to provide some prudence and foresight to the person concerned.

Donald Brad said...

Reading this letter has been a painful experience altogether. But let me point out, a man sitting 1000 kms away from our alma matter can have no idea whatsoever as to how exactly the university is being run, what are the practical difficulties being faced by the college in solving daily issues. GNLU students should realize the fact that exposing their internal problems relating to registrar appointment etc. shall have an extreme deterrent effect on them only and no else, be it their placements, recruitment of new teachers, guest lecturers etc. This is something which we need to resolve internally by sitting with each other in a peaceful environment. Just to inform the people living in ignorance, GNLU has risen up from tantrums from the dreadful black year of 2007-08, when it neither had a VC nor a registrar. The gift of the magnificent 'state of art' new campus which it has received this year is the biggest symbol of the exceptional progress it has made in the last 4 years. Lastly, there must be something exceptionally special about the GNLU family which forces the highest paying law firm of the country to recruit the highest number of students from here, collectively in the last 3 placement seasons. An open letter full of just allegations and nothing in the form of full proof evidences should not get any air to breathe, in front of all the things mentioned above.

Raghul Sudheesh said...

@Donald: I apprehend if you have even read the letter once. Your statement " An open letter full of just allegations and nothing in the form of full proof evidences" testifies that. In this letter, I have mentioned events which have occurred in the past at GNLU and which could have been avoided. The events mentioned were not out of my imagination but real events that happened at GNLU. I myself have admitted in the letter that GNLU was one of the most promising NLU's and I really appreciate the Director's role in that. The letter was only against an LPA filed by the Director, which I felt is totally unwanted. Please read the facts and analyse them before posting senseless comments.

Anonymous said...

Let us create group id on gmail. It is free of cost and our seniors have used it in past before Bimal joined GNLU. They used google group id for all purposes. We can create separate id for every batch. We can use that for our internal communication and lets use our gnlu id for official purposes. This site helps me to my thesis writing on this theme.

Rokki Winchester said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas on this one.
Please keep posting about such articles as they really spread useful information.Thanks for this particular sharing. I hope it stays updated, take care.

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