| A speaker addresses the students at the meeting. Telegraph picture |
Nov. 26: Students of the University Law College under Gauhati University will take the academic route to help those in need of legal aid.
They have decided to approach vice-chancellor Okhil Kumar Medhi, demanding inclusion of legal aid as a compulsory subject in their course curriculum, as then, law students will be bound to visit nearby areas to offer free legal service to people on different matters.
The resolution was taken at a recent general body meeting of the University Law College Students Union that was held after around eight years.
The union’s general secretary, Poran Bordoloi, said the students would approach Medhi on Friday with the demand to make legal aid a compulsory subject in the three-year and five-year LLB courses offered by the college. “We are preparing the memorandum. We will submit it on Friday. If legal aid is not made compulsory, students will not take it seriously,” he said. “We will ask the vice-chancellor to make it compulsory from the new academic session that starts in January.”
The University Law College, established in the year 1948, is a constituent college of Gauhati University. It now has 672 students in the three-year and five-year LLB courses.
The general body meeting, chaired by the college’s principal, J.P. Bora, also discussed several problems of the college. “The disparity in the teacher and student ratio is one of them. The college has only six permanent teachers against 672 students. According to UGC guidelines, there should be one teacher for every 40 students. In that way, we need at least 16 teachers,” Bordoloi said.
Demand for more modern classrooms and proper drinking water facility were also on the list of demands. According to the students, the college does not have enough classrooms to run its two LLB courses.
Sources in the college said the vice-chancellor had earlier promised that the newly constructed floor in the university’s arts building would be handed over to the law college. “But now the new floor has been given to the department of information technology,” a source said.
Unlike Gauhati University, city-based NEF Law College had set up its legal aid clinic three years ago to provide free legal service to needy persons or to those who are unable to obtain the services of private legal practitioners.