PATNA: The division bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Rajeev Ranjan Prasad on Tuesday stayed all orders passed by Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah on various issues related to universities across Bihar on a petition after the chancellor moved the high court on July 27 pleading that such orders had taken over his statutory powers.
The division bench also issued notice to Asha Sahay on whose petition several orders were passed by the single bench.
Notices were served on 81 other respondents too, including the district magistrate (DM) and superintendent of police (SP) of 11 districts. While hearing on Sahay’s petition, the single bench had summoned vice-chancellors and registrars of all universities besides the DM and SP of respective districts to install CCTV cameras and giving separate space to protesters on campuses.
Asha is the widow of Kumar Nalin Bilochan Sahay, who had retired from Bhim Rao Ambedkar Bihar University at Muzaffarpur, but did not receive his post-retirement benefits. He had filed a writ petition on October 13, 2015, but died during the course of hearing after which his wife became the petitioner.
Chancellor’s counsel Rajendra Kumar Giri said he pleaded before the court that the single bench orders had virtually taken over the chancellor’s statutory powers while hearing Sahay’s petition which was actually filed for post-retirement benefits.
Additional advocate general (AAG) Ashutosh Ranjan Pandey said Sahay was granted all benefits which were due to him, but hearing on his petition continued. “The division bench observed that some of the issues taken up in the actual petition were of public interest litigation nature and stayed all past orders and further proceedings in the matter,” he said.
Pandey said the single bench had also summoned principal secretary to the chancellor on August 3, but that order was also stayed.
Reply sought on bombing incidents in PU hostels: Annoyed over repeated incidents of bombing by rival groups on the Patna University (PU) campus, the Patna high court on Tuesday ordered the district magistrate (DM) to reply within a week on the action taken by the administration to check such crime. The recent bombing incident took place on July 24.
The division bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Rajeev Ranjan Prasad also ordered the PU registrar to reply on the university’s stand on such incidents which take place periodically.
A group of Nutan hostel residents had attacked the Iqbal hostel boarders in broad daylight on July 24. However, no one was injured. The investigation revealed that two students picked up a fight at Patna College on the issue of a seat in a classroom. It snowballed into a major fight and a group of Nutan hostel boarders went to Iqbal hostel and hurled bombs to terrorize the rivals.
The court had turned a letter written by Vikash Chandra alias Guddu Baba into a PIL. Vikas had enclosed the photocopy of a news item published on August 1, 2016 about explosives recovered from the Saidpur hostel of PU.
During the course of hearing, the high court has already passed several orders to the district and college administration, which failed to take any effective measures in this regard. Crude bombs were seized from Minto hostel in May 2017 and later explosive items were again recovered from Iqbal hostel on January 17 this year.
“The DM should explain what action was taken regarding illegal activities in the context of bombing in hostel and PU registrar should also reply that what varsity administration has to say over the issue,” the court ordered.
PU counsel Vivekanand Prasad Singh said law and order is a subject of district administration and not of the university, but the petitioner said it’s the university’s responsibility to apprise the administration about the hostel allottees so that unauthorized and antisocial occupants could be kicked out.
PIL on waterlogging: The Patna high court on Tuesday ordered Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) to reply within a week on the action taken to remove waterlogging in Rajendra Nagar area. The division bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Rajeev Ranjan Prasad was hearing a PIL filed by one Navin Kumar Singh on waterlogging in Rajendra Nagar locality.
Ensure security at mosque: Hearing a PIL filed by advocate Anisur Rahman, the division bench ordered the Patna police to ensure security of those who visit a mosque built by him on his private land in Samanpura locality. Senior advocate Yogesh Chandra Verma, who represented Rahman, said the petitioner was threatened by antisocial elements allegedly associated with a maulvi, whom he had removed from the mosque. Verma said Patna SSP was also ordered to ensure Rahman’s security.
Bail plea of toilet scam accused rejected: Justice Arun Kumar on Tuesday rejected the bail petition of PHED accountant Biteshwar Prasad Singh, who is one of the main accused in the Rs14-crore toilet scam in Patna. Additional public prosecutor Ajay Mishra said Singh had connived with PHED executive engineer Vinay Kumar Sinha to disburse the money to NGOs for building toilets which were never constructed. The entire amount was disbursed between May 1 and June 23, 2016. An FIR was lodged in this connection with the Gandhi Maidan police station on November 2, 2017.