Thursday, February 3, 2011

SC upholds TU fee hike

KATHMANDU: The Supreme Court today upheld the authority of Tribhuvan University to hike the fee of college students.

A division bench of Justices Ram Kumar Prasad Shah and Tarka Raj Bhatta passed the verdict upholding the December 4, 2009 decision of Tribhuvan University hiking TU fee by 20 per cent annually.

“It is the authority of the TU to take the decision analysing the situation properly,” the bench ruled.

The apex court was responding to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed on June 2 last year challenging the TU decision on the ground that it infringed students’ right to education. On November 4, 2009 TU authorities had decided to increase student fee by 10 per cent every year, but in another decision a month later, TU decided to increase the fee by 20 per cent annually.

In an initial hearing, the apex court had stayed the decision last year and stated that it would be wrong to hike fees for college students who were admitted in the previous years. Stating that additional fee hike was improper, student leaders had moved the apex court challenging the decision.

Leaders of various student unions — Pradip Poudel, Ram Kumari Jhankri, Himal Sharma, Bhaskar Kafle, Kapaleshwor Yadav — had jointly challenged the decision in a joint Public Interest Litigation.

The petitioners claimed that the authorities — Tribhuvan University, the Office of the Registrar, the Tribhuvan University Assembly, the Office of the Vice Chancellor and the Office of the Rector — had passed the decision seriously violating the right to education and right to property and had sought apex court intervention to annul the decision.

Commenting on the decision Nepal Student Union’s Vice Chairman Nain Singh Mahar said they would abide by the SC verdict but would fight against the government and TU for hiking the fee as it went against the right to education and subsidy in quality education.

Madhav Dhungel, ANNFSU Chairman said the verdict did not respect the spirit of students even though they would abide by the verdict. “Now we will decide how to move forward after this decision,” Dhungel added.

ANNISUR Chairman Himal Sharma, however, said they would analyse the apex court verdict.