The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought the Centre’s response to the plea of over 284 displaced students from Manipur seeking admission to central universities across the country in the wake of the unprecedented violence in the northeastern state since May this year.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud asked solicitor-general Tushar Mehta to examine the plea of the students for directing the University Grants Commission to relocate them to different central varsities.
The court asked the solicitor-general and the state advocate-general to personally look into the issue from a humanitarian angle and come back with their views.
Initially, the bench, which included Justices J.B. Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, had asked senior advocate Meenakshi Arora, appearing for the students, why they did not approach Manipur High Court for necessary relief.
The senior counsel submitted that the apex court had earlier passed a similar direction in the case of Kashmiri students and similar relief can be extended to the Manipur students as most of them have fled and are scattered in different parts of the country. Further, she said approaching the high court after six months would further delay the admission of the students.
Arora said there were 54 central universities where they could be accommodated.
“For Kashmir migrants the same thing was done. They are all out of Manipur now. If they can just be accommodated in other universities,” the senior counsel pleaded.
Mehta agreed to the suggestion of the bench to examine the plea. The solicitor-general, however, requested that the Supreme Court committee headed by former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Justice Gita Mittal to look into relief and rehabilitation in Manipur should not have been made a respondent by the petitioners.
Arora agreed to the suggestion and said they would delete the committee from the list of respondents.
The bench then dictated an order asking the Centre to submit its response to the plea and posted the matter for further hearing on December 4.