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Calcutta High Court directs NUJS to continue online courses

June 16, 2022
Mita Mukherjee

The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday directed National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS) Kolkata not to discontinue its online courses, allow the already enrolled students to complete the courses and award the degrees and diplomas to them after successful completion.

The law school in collaboration with a law firm had introduced several online courses in 2012 but the NUJS’ executive council, the institution’s highest policy making body, decided to discontinue all the courses in 2018 for not getting the approval of the University Grants Commission (UGC) for offering such courses.

 Protesting the decision, the aggrieved students had filed a writ petition in Calcutta High Court, but a single bench of the court had dismissed the plea.

A division bench of the Calcutta High Court comprising Justice IP Mukerji and Justice Subhendu Samanta today directed NUJS to allow the students to continue the courses.

“ In those circumstances, we direct that the students who have already enrolled themselves for the online courses from 2012 and not completed it should be allowed to complete the courses if otherwise entitled to do so. On successful completion of the courses they would be awarded the requisite degrees and diplomas etc, by the University deemed to have been issued with the approval of the University Grants Commission,….”.

The court, however, today directed the institute not to enrol new students for the online courses without approval of the University Grants Commission.

After the court passed the order today, sources in the university said that in 2012 when the online courses were introduced, prior permission from the University Grants Commission for offering courses in online mode was not required. In 2018, the UGC had made it compulsory for the institute to seek its permission for running such courses. The university had sought the UGC’s permission at that time, but the approval was not granted by it, the sources in the university said. Later, in 2019, the executive council of NUJS stopped running the online courses.

The court today observed that NUJS is a premiere institute at the national level in the field of legal education and the courses and degrees offered by it are of high value. Therefore, no student would doubt that the university did not have the approval of the UGC for running the courses.

NUJS vice-chancellor NK Chakrabarti said a meeting will soon be held to resume the courses.

“The matter will soon be placed at the meeting of the next meeting of our executive council. We will start offering the courses in online mode as directed by the court after the meeting,” Chakrabarti told EducationWorld.

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