The Delhi High Court on Tuesday refused to immediately stay the punishment recommended for Jawaharlal Nehru University students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya by a High-Level Committee set up by the varsity. Khalid and Bhattacharya had moved the high court, challenging the probe panel’s decision to rusticate them, IANS reported.
Justice Manmohan said, “I have to see whether fair procedure was followed…The matter requires consideration and decision can’t be taken overnight,” he said, scheduling the next hearing in the case for May 30. The judge directed the university to submit its response on the matter along with relevant document and the inquiry report.
The counsel representing the students said Khalid and Bhattacharya had been rusticated without any proper hearing or issuance of notices. However, the counsel for JNU said they were served notices at their residential addresses and in jail. Moreover, the university extended the deadline to pay the fines to the date of the next hearing.
An inquiry commission had been set up by the university to look Kashmir-related protests on campus on February 9 that had led to major unrest and subsequent arrests. The panel found several students, including JNU Students’ Union President Kanhaiya Kumar, Khalid and Bhattacharya, guilty and imposed fines on them, besides barring them from the university for varying periods of time. The committee asked Bhattacharya to stay out of campus until July 15, then come in for a few days and again keep out from July 23 for five years. Khalid, who was rusticated as well, has been asked to pay a fine of Rs 20,000.