In a recent decision by the Nation Green Tribunal
(hereinafter referred to as 'NGT') in the case of, Nithin
Chandran vs. Union of India, the tribunal held that pasting of
pamphlets/flyers within the campus during election time by students
to be immensely harmful to the environment. While doing so the
tribunal also directed all major varsities/colleges to fully
implement the recommendation of thess Lyngdoh Commission.
The said order of the NGT came in pursuance to an application
filed last year by a first year Delhi University law student,
Nithin Chandran. He was appalled to see the scale in which paper
was being wasted in the garb of campaigning/canvassing, and wanted
the tribunal to ensure that environment friendly modes of
campaigning and canvassing are adopted during the Delhi University
Students Union (hereinafter referred to as 'DUSU')
elections. The respondents in this matter did not have any serious
objections to the granting of such relief.
The application also contained quotes from relevant paragraphs
of the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations, a brief gist of which are
1. No candidate shall be permitted to make use of printed
posters, printed pamphlets, or any other printed material for the
purpose of canvassing. Candidates may only utilize handmade posters
for the purpose of canvassing, provided that such hand-made posters
are procured within the expenditure limit set out herein above.
2. Candidates may only utilize hand-made posters at certain
places in the campus, which shall be notified in advance by the
election commission/university authority.
3. No candidate shall, nor shall his/her supporters, deface or
cause any destruction to any property of the university/college
campus, for any purpose whatsoever, without the prior written
permission of the college/university authorities. All candidates
shall be held jointly and severally liable for any destruction
/defacing of any university/college property.
4. All candidates shall be jointly responsible for ensuring the
cleaning up of the polling area within 48 hours of the conclusion
of the polling.
In accordance with the application filed by Mr. Chandran the NGT
had passed an interim order in September of 2015 whereby it
categorically restrained the DUSU "from pasting
pamphlets etc. on the walls in the DU campus as well as on the
public streets". The NGT in its latest order passed
in July, observed "that the abuse of
paper adds to the pollution load on the
While seriously limiting the freedom of students with respect to
their activity during election time in colleges this order comes
along with a few pragmatic steps that the tribunal recognizes which
does not do away with the use of flyers/pamphlets altogether. It
directed the respondents to jointly and severally implement the
1. The University shall not allow use/pasting of
posters/pamphlets everywhere within the campus and public streets
by the students but only allow the candidates contesting elections
or their pre-notified student agents to utilize handmade posters at
certain notified places not exceeding two within each campus;
2. The University shall strictly enforce the Lyngdoh Commission
recommendations and for that purpose frame rules or incorporate in
the rules governing the students body elections stringent
provisions, even to the extent of disqualifying the concerned
contestants for implementation of the said Recommendations
including these directions;
3. The University shall take steps to move towards paperless
canvassing/campaigning in student elections in the manner aforesaid
in accordance with law within two months.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).