On 21 November 2022, the Punjab and Haryana High Court issued an order directed at a university, mandating it to reduce the rent price charged to students in hostels during the COVID-19 to 50% of the ordinary price.
The decision originated in a claim filed by undergraduate students asking for reduction of university fees of different types. The court of first instance had rejected the claim and therefore the plaintiffs had filed an appeal before the High Court. The appellants argued that it was unfair for the university to extract 25% of the ordinary charges from the contractors of shops and canteens due to hardships brought by the pandemic, but at the same time charge 100% of the ordinary rent to students living in university hostels. Indeed, the appellants argued, students had had possession of the rooms during the pandemic not out of free will, but due to the restrictions brought by the pandemic which had prevented everyone from travelling.
The High Court agreed with the appellants and found that the behavior of the university was discriminatory, since it applied different treatments to contractors and to students. Therefore, it ordered the university to charge only 50% of the rent price and to refund the amount collected exceeding such threshold.