A division bench of Uttarakhand High Court gave its final judgement in a PIL filed by an alumni of NIT Uttarakhand on 27th July,2020 marking the end of a 10 year long struggle of the students.
The said institution was established in 2009 and since then there has been a standoff between the centre and the State government over a suitable location for the institution. The succesive state governments had insisted on their demand to establish the institute in Sumari as it could help in the developement of the village and increase the living standards of the villagers.
The centre however,did not accept these suggestions of the state because according to the geographical survey of IIT, Roorkee the location is prone to landslides and soil instability. Later the centre was forced to accept the suggestion of the state to end the 10 year long standoff. This decision of the Centre was challenged by the petitioner as it would put the lives of students and faculty members of the institution in jeopardy.
The court agreed with the arguments of the petitioner and stated: "The decision of the Government of India, conveying its consent to locate the NIT, Uttarakhand permanent campus at Sumari with a view to end the impasse suffers from the vice of irrationality, unreasonableness and arbitariness and falls foul of Article 14 of the Constitution of India."
In this particular PIL the petitioner had also stated that, the temporary location of the institution, which is a campus located in Srinagar lacks infrastructure.The infrastructure and safety capabilities have been reported as "pathetic" by the court. The Srinagar campus even lacked an internal pathway for students to travel from one section of the campus to the other safely .
This had forced the students to use the National Highway causing a student's lower half to become paralyzed in a hit and run accident. Through this PIL the petitioner not only demanded better infrastructure for the Srinagar campus, but also claimed compensation for the injured student .
Responding to the plea of the petitioner the court directed the centre to consider a detailed project report designed by IIT-Roorkee and release funds for infrastructural upgrade at the Srinagar campus. The court also directed the centre and NIT to bear all the medical expenses of the injured student throughout her life and also give her an additional compensation of Rs 25 lakhs.