The High Court has asked the University Grants Commission (UGC) for information on the number of students at private universities availing benefits as offspring of freedom fighters, or stipends as poor or under-privileged since 2010.

Besides, the court also asked the UGC to report how much money has been allotted for research by the private universities since 2010.

UGC will have to submit the information to the High Court within the next 60 days.

The bench of Justice Md Mojibur Rahman Mia and Justice Khizir Hayat passed the order with a rule on Monday.

In the rule, the court also wanted to know why the inaction of the government in implementation of a law to facilitate 6 percent of the student body at private universities from poor backgrounds should not be declared illegal.

Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua, counsel for writ petitioners the Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB), said: "According to section 9(4) of the Private Universities Act, 6 percent seats should be reserved for the children of freedom fighters and meritorious students every year. According to section 9(6) of the law, a certain portion of the budget fixed by the University Grants Commission should be kept for research in the budget of private universities every year. These accounts must be sent to UCG. The UGC will later send the report to the ministry, and the ministry will send it to the parliamentary committee. They will take necessary action. We have tried to find out on behalf of the Consumers Association of Bangladesh, and our investigation found that since 2010, no private university has met these requirements."

The education secretary and UGC chairman are among those made respondents of the rule and they have to explain to the court within the next four weeks.

The court has also fixed August 14 for the next hearing on the writ.

Deputy Attorney General Bipul Bagmar stood for the state.

Architect Mubasshar Hussein, on behalf of CAB, filed the writ petition last week.

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