Delhi High Court extends relief to JNU students

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday extended the relief granted to the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students against the university’s decision holding them guilty of indiscipline in the controversial February 9 event.

Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva slated the hearing on pleas filed by the JNU students — Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and others — for November 7 due to paucity of court’s time on Wednesday.

“Whatever is the interim position will continue till next date,” the court said.  During the brief hearing, advocate Akhil Sibal appearing for Umar Khalid contended that his client was not served notice over the setting up of disciplinary inquiry against him.

“I (Umar) was not even told that there was a disciplinary inquiry being set up,” Sibal said.  Sibal added that Umar was not given proper opportunity to defend himself and the prescribed rules were not followed by the varsity.

The JNU students had challenged the findings of the university’s appellate authority holding them guilty of indiscipline in connection with the controversial February 9 event on campus in which “anti-India” slogans were allegedly raised.

The university’s appellate authority also imposed a fine on Kanhaiya and asked him to file an undertaking that he would not participate in or be present at any illegal activity taking place on the JNU campus.

The university had slapped the students with a number of punishments, including rustication, hostel debarment and financial penalty, on the basis of probe by the High Level Enquiry Committee.  While the appellate authority had reduced the fine of some students, for Khalid and Bhattacharya, the punishment remained the same.  Umar was rusticated for one semester, while Bhattacharya was barred from the university premises for five years.

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