Bombay HC Stays Expulsion Of University Student For ‘Anti-National’ Activities

Bombay HC Stays Expulsion Of University Student For ‘Anti-National’ Activities

Chaudhary is the second student to get relief from the court, after the expulsion of another student, Niranjan Oberoi, was stayed.

Musab QaziUpdated: Wednesday, March 20, 2024, 09:22 AM IST
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Bombay High Court | File

The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court (HC) has stayed the expulsion order of Jatin Chaudhary, a student at Mahatma Gandhi Anterrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya (MGAHV), a central university in Wardha, who was among six students removed for protesting against the appointment of the new vice chancellor (VC) at the varsity.

Chaudhary is the second student to get relief from the court, after the expulsion of another student, Niranjan Oberoi, was stayed. The division bench of justices Abhay Mantri and Nitin Sambhre last week also ruled that the expelled student will continue to get all the ‘consequential benefits’ as a student at the university.

5 Students were expelled over staging a protest

Five students at the university were handed letters of expulsion over a month ago for staging a protest and posting against what they saw as ‘illegal’ appointment of Bhimaraya Metri, who is also the director of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Nagpur, as the acting VC at MGAHV. Chaudhary, the sixth student, got expelled a week later for allegedly preventing the university staff from forcefully removing Vivek Mishra, one of the expelled leaders, from his hostel.

The university was established in 1997 by the central government for the promotion and development of Hindi language. However, of late, it has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Last year, Rajneesh Kumar Shukla had resigned as the VC amid controversy over his alleged chats with a woman. In 2019, the varsity had expelled six Dalit-backward research scholars because they tried to highlight the issue of lynching and lockdown in Kashmir by writing letters to the prime minister. The orders were revoked following nationwide criticism.

Student barred from taking the exam

In his plea in the court, Chaudhary argued that the varsity’s order against him was unjust as he was not served prior notice or allowed to explain himself. The student was also prevented from taking the exam and his hall ticket was deleted from the varsity’s portal, alleged the petitioner.

In response, the university said that Chaudhary, along with Mishra, behaved ‘in a manner unbecoming of an institute of national repute’ and ‘played in the hands of anti-national elements’ to disturb the functioning of the varsity. The drastic action was taken due to ‘peculiar facts, circumstances and situation’ prevailing at the university, argued the varsity. It also announced withdrawing the expulsion order and initiating an inquiry against Chaudhary.

Meanwhile, Oberoi has alleged that despite the court order in his favour, the university has prevented him from entering the campus. He has now filed a contempt petition against the MGAHV administration.

“Whenever I tried to enter the campus, the guards stopped me saying that they were directed to do so from higher ups. I have written multiple e-mails to university authorities, but am yet to get a response,” said Oberoi.

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