Court raps JNU for caste discrimination


New Delhi : The Delhi High Court Thursday asked the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to admit a student, who had complained of caste discrimination, to the course of his choice.

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Justice S. Ravindra Bhat also imposed a fine of Rs.25,000 on the university, which will be paid to the petitioner, Amritashva Kamal, within two weeks.

“The university is directed to offer the petitioner a seat according to his choice in the reserved/Scheduled Caste category and admit him to the course of his choice. The university shall bear the costs of these proceedings,” the court said in its order.

The petitioner had said his brother Saurabh Kamal was being constantly humiliated and harassed on the caste lines by a group of students, including Mahinder Kumar Chauhan, a former student of the university who apparently was staying in a JNU hostel.

When the two brothers asked Chauhan not to harass them, he reportedly abused them and assaulted them.

An inquiry conducted by a university committee found Chauhan and others guilty. Chauhan was barred from entering the JNU campus and also from taking admission in the university in future.

But at the same time, the chief proctor passed an order declaring that the campus would also be out of bounds for the petitioner and he would not be allowed to take admission in the JNU.

The court observed that the said order was in violation of principles of natural justice.

“The said order is also assailed as being in complete violation of the inquiry committee report as there is not even an iota of evidence against the petitioner, and rather he is found specifically to be a victim of physical violence and harassment on caste lines.

“It is clear that the impugned order is unsupportable in the law. It is arbitrary. It was also issued without materials in support of the JNU’s opinion,” Justice Bhat said.