HC refuses to stay rustication of Khalid, Anirban, seeks JNU response

New Delhi : Denying interim relief to JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday refused to stay the rustication order passed by the university against them over a controversial event on Kashmir in the campus.

Justice Manmohan said he will “not stay the order” and issued notice to the Jawaharlal Nehru University, asking it to file its response along with all relevant documents, including the enquiry report.

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“I have to ask for records. I have to see whether fair procedure was followed. I have to look into the facts. The matter requires consideration and decision can’t be taken overnight,” said the judge posting the matter for May 30.

Khalid and Bhattacharya approached the court against the rustication order and Rs.20,000 fine imposed against Khalid. The university took the action on April 25 after a probe panel set up by the varsity administration found them guilty of “misconduct” and “indiscipline”.

The two students were found guilty of staging a protest demonstration under the pretext of holding a poetry reading, the chief proctor had said.

Counsel, appearing for both, told the court that they were rusticated without proper hearing and notices, arguing both were hiding for 10 days and thereafter surrendered and were sent to jail and how can an enquiry committee be set up behind their back.

On the other hand, counsel for JNU said that notices were served to them at their residential addresses and jail. After the counsel for Khalid raised objection on Rs.20,000 fine imposed on him, the university said it will extend the date of its payment till the next date of hearing.

The February 9 event led to the arrests of JNU Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar, Khalid and Bhattacharya on sedition charges after it was alleged that participants at the event shouted anti-national slogans. Delhi Police repeatedly claimed they had evidence against Kanhaiya Kumar and the other students but failed to produce it in court, leading to their release from jail on bail.