Campus protests

Delhi HC sets aside disciplinary action JNU took against 14 students, orders fresh hearing

The students had challenged the university’s punishment, which included rustication and withdrawal of hostel facilities.

The Delhi High Court on Thursday set aside the disciplinary action taken by Jawaharlal Nehru University in 2016 against 15 students, including Kanhaiya Kumar, the former president of the JNU Students’ Union. Justice VK Rao asked the university to look into the matter afresh, and allow the students to submit evidence and present their side.

The students had claimed that they were not given enough time to go through the evidence and documents in order to defend themselves. The JNU appellate authority should pass a reasoned order within six weeks of hearing the students, the court said.

A high-level committee formed by the varsity had found that the students had “violated university rules” during a protest against the hanging of Parliament attacks convict Afzal Guru in 2013. The students were served show cause notices, but they had said they would not accept the panel’s report. Some of the students had been arrested for sedition for allegedly shouting anti-India slogans during the protest.

The JNU had then rusticated and withdrew their hostel facilities, among other punishments. The students had challenged this order by the JNU administration in the High Court who had directed them to approach the appellate authority.

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