Specially-abled scholar served eviction notice by KU; Court recommends hostel accommodation
Srinagar: Court of Chief Commissioner Court for Persons with Disabilities has recommended Kashmir University to provide hostel accomodation to a specially-abled scholar from Baramulla.
The complaint was filed by one Zaheer Jan, Child and Disability Rights Activist, who submitted that one Ghulam Jeelani Mir, a Research Scholar with 45% locomotive disability was issued an eviction notice by the Hostel Warden on the grounds that there was no hostel reservation policy for the persons with disabilities in the University in accordance with the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (RPWD Act, 2016).
The Complainant submitted that he had met the scholar with disabilities, who informed him that despite residing in the University Hostel since May 2017, he was asked to vacate.
The Complainant pleaded for the need to have full, accessible environment and accommodation for the student, maintaining that ‘living within the premises helped them a lot.’
“It would not be possible for him to find good and accessible accommodation near Kashmir University, especially during ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation,” he submitted.
Kashmir University contested the complaint and submitted that Ghulam Jeelani Mir was accommodated as ‘Guest Scholar’ on 06-06-2017 in IKS Hostel. As per the policy, the varsity said the accommodation in IKS is granted on temporary basis for a maximum period of six months and the whole time scholars of the University have to apply for regular accommodation in GKRS INN.’
Since Jeelani was accommodated on temporary basis, he according to the varsity was required to apply for regular accommodation but he did not apply. “Giving advantage of his special ability, his temporary accommodation was continuously extended till 31-03-2020.”
He was served a memo to vacate the hostel by or before 31-03-2020 but he did not comply with the orders of the University and kept his room locked amidst COVID-19 pandemic closure. On opening of the hostel in October 2020, on his request, his accommodation was extended till 30-11-2020, but he did not vacate the hostel and has been staying in the IKS Hostel for three and a half years, the varsity said.
In rejoinder, Jeelani submitted “it was painful for him to come from Baramulla to attend the lab.” He maintained that he was directed to submit hostel accommodation fee for one year and the hostel authorities ‘wrongly considered him as a Guest Scholar’.
“In September 2018 both the warden and the office staff besides Provost got transferred in post Article 370 ‘abrogation’. The newly appointed Warden and Provost shifted their offices into this IKS hostel building, ‘misused their position’ and occupied the rooms, which otherwise could have accommodated by stranded Ph.D students outside”, he said.
After hearing both sides, the court observed that it was confirmed that the candidate is ‘admissible for hostel allotment as a regular student.’
“Therefore, the Court recommends to allot the hostel accommodation immediately and on first priority till his term of Ph.D completes.” (GNS)