Students at NLS Bengaluru boycott semester exams in protest against administration

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Many students of the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) in Bengaluru boycotted their end trimester exams on Monday, continuing their protest against the existing ad-hoc administration. The end trimester exams will be held until September 27.

"We're boycotting the exams because the members of the admin are trying to stop the due process of law from taking its natural course," Hamza Tariq, Student Bar Association President said. The NLSUI campus has over 500 students enrolled. 

According to sources, around 15 students sat for the exams which started at 10am on Monday and was set to conclude at 1 pm. Students that TNM spoke to claim those who wrote the exam are those with backlogs, who had no other option as they would lose a year if they didn’t.

The students as part of the protest formed human chains sitting on the floor across the corridors and staircase of the academic block.

Read: NLSIU Bengaluru students demand that V-C be appointed at the earliest

TNM had earlier reported that the exam boycott was planned by the Student Bar Association (SBA) as part of the ongoing protest. While protests have been going on for a week, students boycotted classes on Friday and Saturday. 

The students have been voicing their dissent for over a week against the inordinate delay in the appointment of a full-time Vice-Chancellor (V-C). While the position fell vacant when the previous Vice-Chancellor R Venkata Rao completed his term of 10 years on July 31, his successor had been named on August 2 following due procedure. Students allege that the present registrar OV Nandimath who was one of the applicants for the V-C post and is a vital part of the existing framework is acting in vested interest to stall the process.

Read: Why law students in the prestigious NLS Bengaluru are threatening to skip exams

The students have also been protesting against some of the decisions taken by the current administration which they term anti-students. Recently the students were told that the academic block will be shut at 10 pm when it was open 24x7 until this point. 

The current administration has also allegedly tried to reduce the budgets of institutionally-run student bodies which organise seminars and conferences, the students said. While until now, facilities like accommodation for judges and other legal luminaries were borne by the university, the administration now wants to charge the student bodies for the same, allege students. 

Meanwhile, the Bar Council of India wrote to the Chief Justice of India Justice Ranjan Gogoi, seeking that Sudhir Krishnaswamy’s appointment as the Vice Chancellor must be reviewed.

“Students body can't be a stakeholder in the process of appointment of VC or any faculty member. Neither the NLSIU Act nor Rules permit them to be part of any such process. The role of Professor Sudhir Krishnaswamy behind the present agitation can't be ruled out. To restore discipline in the campus, the decision to appoint him Vice-Chancellor should be reviewed by the EC and suitable action taken against the students responsible for creating the present situation in the NLSIU campus,” the Bar Council of India stated in the letter.