Mumbai Court Passes Order In Favour Of TISS Students; No Prohibition On Protests Any More

Mumbai Court Passes Order In Favour Of TISS Students; No Prohibition On Protests Any More

The order overruled its previous order that prohibited students from protesting within the campus’s 100-metre radius.

Sunidhi VijayUpdated: Friday, May 17, 2024, 04:08 PM IST
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The Bombay Civil Court passed an order favouring the Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) students, which overruled the court’s earlier interim order of not allowing students to hold protests near a 100-metre radius of the main campus gate.

In 2018, TISS filed a civil suit against six protesting students. The institute sought the court's intervention to discontinue the protests. The institute wanted to restrain the students from destroying college property, shouting slogans, obstructing daily functions and setting up tents in the institutes, which prompted the court to issue an interim order banning protests on the campus within a 100-metre radius.

TISS students protested for months, demanding the institute to waive hostel and dining hall charges for students with the Government of India Post Matriculate Scholarship (GoI-PMS).

However, as the case continued to unfold in front of the court, it was learned that even though the tents were set up on the institute’s campus, no act of destruction took place as claimed by the institute. The court also noted that most of the defendants in the case were no longer on the institute’s premises and thus there was no longer a threat of strike. 

The court in its order stated, "...it appears that the defendants were placing their demands and agitation against the decision of management in respect of GoI MPL students for their rights. Admittedly, now the defendants have left the college and the documents placed on record by the defendants clearly indicate that they have conducted their Andolan/bandh in peaceful manner as well as hunger strike. Now there is no immediate threat of any strike from the defendants as they have not remained the part of the plaintiff’s institute as students now.”

One of the defendants in the case and a present student at the institute, who chose to remain anonymous, told The Free Press Journal (FPJ), “The protest did continue till a couple of months but even after that the institute kept informing the court that we were still protesting about the same cause even when that was not the case. Also, there was no destruction and the tents were set up only for a temporary period of time.” 

FPJ tried to reach out to the vice-chancellor for comments but till the time of publishing of this copy, no response was received.

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