A file picture of the damaged boundary wall of the law varsity in Nagri
The proposed law cradle in Nagri received yet another legal shot in the arm.
Jharkhand High Court on Wednesday directed the state government to provide CRPF or CISF cover to contractors and workers giving shape to the National University for Study and Research in Law (NUSRL) campus at the 227-acre disputed site, 15km from Ranchi, that is also set to host IIM and IIIT premises.
A division bench of Chief Justice Prakash Tatia and Justice Jaya Roy was hearing a petition filed by the varsity, which currently functions out of the BIT-Mesra campus.
The law university’s petition was heard along with another PIL filed in 2009 by the Bar Association for construction of a law college in the capital. The association had contended that a premier law college was required in Jharkhand, which was seeing a brain drain in its absence.
The counsel for NUSRL on Wednesday pointed out that campus construction work was limping because of frequent protests by villagers who have even attacked workers and officials in the past.
He insisted that policemen deployed at the site were doing little in the name of security. Construction materials were being stolen, walls being pulled down and villagers being instigated by their political patrons to disrupt the project.
The counsel suggested that the central paramilitary force or the industrial security force be pressed into service if the prestigious law cradle were to see the light of day.
Opposing the petition, advocate-general Anil Kumar Sinha said that the CRPF was a special force and engaged in anti-Maoist activities in the state. Hence, it should not be burdened with the Nagri responsibility.
He further claimed that construction work was going on without disturbance from local residents.
The division bench, however, was not satisfied with Sinha’s arguments. It said if the government failed to discharge its responsibilities, then contempt proceedings might be initiated against it.
Incidentally, the high court has passed a series of orders on the state since 2009, including a recent one to resolve the land dispute with villagers, but the face-off continues.
Prodded by the high court, the government started construction of boundary walls of all the three premier institutes, but has failed to stem local protests through dialogue or otherwise.