Mumbai: The Mumbai University (MU) assured the Bombay High Court on Monday that it will complete scrutiny of the complaints with regard to the senate elections by October 25 and immediately thereafter will declare the election schedule.
A division bench of Justices Nitin Jamdar and Manjusha Deshpande was hearing the petition filed by advocate Sagar Devre challenging the university’s decision to suspend the senate elections in September alleging it was done due to “political pressure”.
Complaint of irregularities in voters’ list
During the hearing on Monday, the university lawyer advocate Yuvraj Narvankar said that it has received a second complaint from MLC Manisha Kayande regarding “irregularities in the voters’ list” and the same is also being scrutinised.
Narvankar said that the scrutiny of the complaints is under way and will be completed within two weeks i.e. by October 25.
The bench noted, “Since a commitment is given by the university that the election will be held as stated above, which is only two weeks from today, we do not deem it necessary to dilate on further issues.”
“Accepting this commitment given by the University as above, we dispose of the writ petition,” the HC added.
Meanwhile, a member of the three-person committee appointed by the varsity to look into the alleged discrepancies said that they will need another week to complete the review of the electoral rolls.
“We have had multiple meetings with the varsity officials, where they updated us about the progress of the scrutiny and accordingly we issued them directions. There appear to be around 500 duplicate names in the list, but most of these appear to be different persons, as evident by their documents. Only a few names are actual duplicates. We have asked the university to provide us with a list of such names so that we can do a random check, which we are yet to get. We don't know what's taking them so long,” said the member.
Devre sought that the circular issued by the MU staying the senate elections be set aside and the university be directed to take immediate steps to commence and complete the election programme scheduled on September 10.
An election notification was issued on August 9 and announced the ‘senate elections’ of the University of Mumbai for 10 seats of the Graduate Constituency. The last date for filing of the nominations was August 18.
The MU released a circular on August 17 staying the senate election for an indefinite period.
According to the plea, the last senate elections were held on March 26, 2018, and the tenure of the same was till September 30, 2022.