To avoid defacement of the campus, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Delhi University to strictly ensure that no posters or pamphlets are put up on the walls of its premises. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the Delhi government to provide requisite help to the university in ensuring compliance with the order. “The counsels appearing for Delhi University as well as Election Officer of the Delhi University submit that the posters have now been removed and they will ensure that in future no posters are permitted to be pasted on any part of the university or the area around the university to avoid defacement of the premises as well as to prevent environmental degradation,” the bench has said.
“The counsel (for DU) also submits that they would take appropriate action against the candidates whose posters are pasted, if at all, on the premises in violation to the orders of the Tribunal. The above statement should be maintained not only during election but even on all other times,” it said. The direction came yesterday while disposing of the plea filed by Delhi University law student Nithin Chandran, through advocate Aditya Parolia against indiscriminate wastage of paper during student body elections. During the proceedings, an affidavit filed by the Chief Election Officer of the DU was placed on record which said the university has imposed fine of Rs 5,000 on all the violators. The counsel appearing for the university assured the bench that the varsity would strictly comply with the order of the tribunal and ensure that there is no defacement of public property.
Chandran had earlier told the tribunal that despite specific direction that no paper in form of posters or pamphlets will be used for campaigning, there was rampant violation of the order during elections. The NGT had earlier warned Delhi University students that they may face rustication if found pasting posters on campus walls or distributing pamphlets ahead of Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections on September 12.
It had directed the Delhi University authorities to remove within 24 hours all posters defacing the university properties and said violators would be fined Rs 5,000. The tribunal had made it clear that if students are found violating its directions again, the varsity authorities may even rusticate them.
Chandran, in his plea, had said that every year in the elections to DUSU and other student bodies, “the quantity of paper wasted in canvassing and campaigning is huge and the damage therein to the environment is irreparable”. “On every election, tonnes of paper is wasted for canvassing by candidates and their supporters. Wherein, there is no accountability for usage of paper and neither there is any norm or procedure for re-cycling of this wastepaper,” the plea had said. The petitioner had also cited the Supreme Court’s 2006 order directing universities to implement the recommendations of the J M Lyngdoh committee in student body polls. The committee had recommended prohibition of the use of printed paper and posters for canvassing.