A division bench of Delhi High Court comprising Justice Manmohan Sarin and Justice Manmohan on April 9 issued notices to Delhi University Vice Chancellor Shri Deepak Paintal and the University'sAcademic Council on a PIL seeking direction to them to withdraw the alleged controversial essay prescribed for BA IInd year History (Honours) students in which objectionable remarks have been made against Shri Ram, Lakshman, Sita and Hanuman. The court has directed the respondents to file their replies to the petition within four weeks. The court also directed the five member committee appointed by the Vice Chancellor to look into the alleged controversy over the chapter by May 19, the next date of hearing in the case.
The PIL has jointly been filed by Shri Dina Nath Batra, Dr Ravindra Nath Pal, Shri Vidya Sagar Verma, Acharya Sohanlal Ramrang, Dr Payal Mago, Shri Mahesh Chandra Sharma and Shri Atul Rawat against University of Delhi, Academic Council of DU, Dr Upinder Singh and Arun Thesis Typing Centre.
Shri Batra, convenor of Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti, through his counsel Monica Arora, submitted that the chapter titled ?Culture in India: Ancient? had hurt the sentiments of Hindus by attributing repugnant conduct and behaviour to the four Ramayana characters. Seeking immediate withdrawal of the controversial chapter, the petitioners submitted that they like many other Hindus were aggrieved by it.
The petitioners pointed out that the Delhi High Court in its judgment in the NCERT case last year had said that public sentiments should be kept in mind while prescribing courses for studies for students. They also sought an enquiry into how the chapter was included in the book. The petitioners demanded the respondents to conduct the examination of the students of BA (Hons.) IInd year, history course, in such a manner without having questions from the controversial chapter and also circulate the instructions to the various colleges and other educational institutions not to teach the students the controversial article as it is objectionable, offensive and hurts the religious sentiments of millions of Hindus. An unconditional apology has also been sought from the respondents to the millions of Hindus all over the world for having outraged their religious feelings. They sought to devise a mechanism so that in future such perverse, derogatory and offensive articles do not find place in the course curriculum of esteemed institution of Delhi University.