HC directs JNU not to take coercive step against Umar Khalid till tomorrow

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today directed the Jawaharlal Nehru University not to take any coercive steps till tomorrow against its student Umar Khalid, who was rusticated and slapped with a fine of Rs 20,000 in connection with a 2016 incident of alleged anti-India slogans being raised at an event.

Justice Siddharth Mridul issued notice to JNU on a plea by Khalid challenging the penalty imposed on him by an appellate authority of the university on July 4 in connection with the incident.

The court said the matter be listed tomorrow along with another plea filed by JNU’s former students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar, on whom Rs 10,000 fine has been imposed by the appellate authority.

During the hearing, Khalid’s counsel said the urgency was that two weeks time was given by the authorities to pay the fine amount.

JNU’s counsel said Khalid has been rusticated for one semester starting from July 23.
The court said there cannot be any urgency as far as depositing of fine was concerned and added, “in the meantime, JNU shall not take any coercive steps against the petitioner (Khalid)”.

The court had yesterday directed the varsity not to take any coercive step against Kumar, who has also challenged the penalty.

Both of them have sought direction to quash the office order of July 4 passed by the JNU through the chief proctor.

Kumar has alleged in the plea that there were serious lapses towards observing the principles of natural justice and violation of the high court’s earlier order.
On February 9, 2016, a poetry event was held at JNU in connection with the third anniversary of Afzal Guru’s hanging for his role in the attack on Parliament on December 13, 2001.
A high-level panel of JNU had in 2016 recommended a fine of Rs 10,000 on Kumar. It also suggested that Khalid be rusticated in connection with the incident. Besides, financial penalty was imposed on 13 other students for violation of disciplinary norms.
The students had then moved the high court, which had on October 12 last year directed the university to place the matter before an appellate authority to review the panel’s decision.
On July 5, the university stated that the appellate authority had upheld the decision against Khalid and Kumar, and in some cases, the penalty had been reduced.
Kumar, Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, arrested on charges of sedition in connection with the 2016 controversial event, are out on bail.

Delhi HC stays order upholding JNU admission policy based on UGC reg

Delhi HC stays order upholding JNU admission policy based on UGC reg
Delhi HC stays order upholding JNU admission policy based on UGC reg

The Delhi High Court has stayed its single judge order upholding the Jawaharlal Nehru University’s (JNU) admission policy for MPhil and PhD courses based on the UGC regulations.

The July 2016 regulations of the University Grants Commission (UGC) had put a cap on the number of students per professor/supervisor in MPhil and PhD courses in all varsities.

A single judge of the high court had held that the JNU admission policy was bound by the UGC regulations and the varsity had to accept them without any deviation.

It had given the finding while dismissing some students’ plea challenging the JNU’s admission policy based on the UGC regulations.

However, a two-judge bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra, on an appeal filed by the students, has stayed “the effect and operation of the findings on law” of the single judge till April 28.

The bench passed the interim order as the findings of the single judge “would have wide ramifications” and the appellant students had “made out a prima facie case”.

“In view thereof, it is directed that till the next date of hearing, there shall be a stay of the effect and operation of the findings on law of the single judge,” the bench said.

The students, in their appeal, have contended that the single judge had “erroneously granted complete supremacy to the applicability of the UGC Act”.

( Source – PTI )

JNU moves Delhi HC to restrain students from holding demonstration

JNU moves Delhi HC to restrain students from holding demonstration
JNU moves Delhi HC to restrain students from holding demonstration

The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration has moved the Delhi High Court seeking direction to restrain its students from staging any demonstration within 100 metres of the administrative block.

The plea by the JNU administration was filed before Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva, who had recently asked the students to ensure the decibel levels were kept low during protests so that there was no disturbance in the functioning of the university.

The court had on March 17 modified its order restraining the students from protesting within 100 metres of the block and had directed that the protest, if any, should be peaceful and not block lanes or roads leading to the administrative block.

Alleging that the students of JNU have disobeyed the court’s direction, despite assurance given by them before it, the plea has sought action against the ones who have violated the order.

The petition by JNU’s counsel Monika Arora has sought “immediate indulgence of the court” while highlighting that on March 23 the students had staged a dharna, burnt the effigy of the Vice Chancellor right outside the administrative block and blocked entry and exit of university officials.

While seeking direction to the police to provide adequate security as and when requested, the plea sought direction that “no dharna/demonstration/street plays etc. will be allowed with or without noise making instruments within 100 metres of the administrative block” of the JNU.

The court has fixed the plea for hearing on April 12.

The court’s earlier direction were issued on JNU’s plea against the blocking of its administrative department by the agitating students.

Earlier, during hearing of the plea, the court had suggested the Jawaharlal University Students Union (JNUSU) President and the administration to have a meaningful dialogue among them, which may lead to resolution of several problems.

( Source – PTI )

JNU students’ stir “peaceful”, says police; Univ disagrees

JNU students' stir "peaceful", says police; Univ disagrees
JNU students’ stir “peaceful”, says police; Univ disagrees

Delhi Police today said a “peaceful protest” was being carried out by students in the JNU here, even as the university authorities alleged in the Delhi High Court that the protestors were blocking the administrative block in the campus.

When the matter came up for hearing before Justice V K Rao, the police submitted that the students were holding a protest sit-in 50 metres away from the administrative block.

“The Vice Channcellor, teachers and staff of JNU are using the administrative block without any hindrance.

Everything is smooth there and even there are over 300 official from the JNU security.

“We can also go over there right now if the court asks.

There is no constitutional breakdown. It is a peaceful protest. No untoward incident so far,” the counsel for police submitted.

The students are protesting the recent amendments made in the Jawaharlal Nehru University’s (JNU) admission policy which they claim will lead to a massive cut in MPhil and PhD seats.

They have been sitting since February 9 at the administrative block, which they have named as ‘Freedom Square’.

The matter came up before the court as the administration filed a plea claiming a “siege” of the university and seeking removal of and legal action against the protestors against whom an FIR has been registered in this connection.

The counsel for the police also objected to the listing of the matter before the court, saying it was not empowered to hear criminal matters.

Taking note of this, the judge referred the matter to the bench of Chief Justice G Rohini to decide whether the issue raised in the plea fell under the purview of education or crime. The petition has been fixed for further consideration on March 6.

The police also submitted before the court that an FIR has already been lodged in the case and there was no such siege as claimed by the varsity.

However, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and advocate Monika Arora, appearing for JNU administration, said the JNU staff and the Students Union (JNUSU) leaders be asked not to protest within 200 metres of the administrative and academic complexes as per the academic rules and regulations.

The plea also sought the appointment of an observer by the court who can videograph when the students are being removed. It also sought restoration of the functioning of the varsity’s administrative block.

It demanded police protection for varsity officials so that they can enter the administrative block and get the documents which the petitioners want.

( Source – PTI )

Professor in Delhi HC for acceptance of resignation by IIT

Professor in Delhi HC for acceptance of resignation by IIT
Professor in Delhi HC for acceptance of resignation by IIT

Delhi High Court has sought responses of the Centre, CVC and IIT Kharagpur on a plea by one its professors who had highlighted discrepancies in the Joint Entrance Examination system, that the institute be directed to accept his resignation as he has been offered a teaching position at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).

Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva issued notice to the Centre, Central Vigilance Commission and the institute, seeking their replies by February 7 on the application of professor Rajeev Kumar, who also claims to be a whistleblower and RTI activist.

The application was filed by Kumar, who has been praised by Supreme Court for improving the Joint Entrance Examination system, in his 2012 petition in which he had alleged inaction by the government in protecting him from victimisation as per the Whistleblower Gazette Resolution 2004.

He has claimed that IIT Kharagpur did not accept his resignation as his petition was still pending in court which had on March 21, 2013 put on hold the institute’s decision to impose a penalty of compulsory retirement on him.

In the application filed through advocate Pranav Sachdeva, Kumar has said he had moved a plea before the President of India, who is the Visitor of IIT Kharagpur, claiming that the disciplinary inquiry against him was biased.

The petition is pending before the President.

Kumar has alleged in his plea that he had sought a teaching position in JNU to prevent “continued victimisation”.

“This petitioner has been repeatedly victimised by IIT officials’ arbitrary, unreasonable and vindictive decisions.

First, IIT made the petitioner academically dysfunctional for almost two years. Then, IIT crippled the petitioner in most of his professional tasks by conducting disciplinary proceedings by complete denial of natural justice,” he alleged.

He has said that IIT had given him a no-objection certificate to take up teaching with JNU on lien for a period of two years from June 2015, on his giving an undertaking that he would resign from IIT if he gets outside employment before expiry of the lien period.

His application also claims that he was relieved by IIT on June 11, 2015 and therefore, acceptance of his resignation was only a technical formality.

It also claims that JNU by a letter of May 2016 had confirmed his employment in the varsity’s School of Computer and Systems Sciences.

( Source – PTI )

Supreme court questions JNU on students’ union poll

The Supreme Court Monday asked the Jawaharlal Nehru University, its students union and the organisation Youth for Equality to file affidavits stating their respective positions on holding elections to the varsity’s student body.

The court said that “this is a matter of holding JNUSU (Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union) elections. The elections to JNUSU could not be kept pending indefinitely. The matter is pending before the constitution bench and its resolution may take some time”.

The apex court bench of Justice A.K. Ganguly and Justice J.S. Khehar asked all the parties to file short affidavits after the JNU told the court that it had no objection to the suggestion by court-appointed lawyer Gopal Subramanium on the students’ union election.

The court asked all the parties to file short affidavit stating their stand on JNUSU elections within a week by December 5, 2011 and matter would be listed on December 8, 2011. The last election to JNUSU was held on 2008.

The judges said this after, to its suggestion that all the parties to the dispute should sit together and come to some understanding, counsel Sanjay Parikh said that there were difficulties on finding common ground between the JNUSU and the Youth for Equality.

The court was told that former chief election commissioner J.M. Lyngdoh’s recommendations on student polls insist on voters’ attendance, age limit of 28 years, clean image and restriction on spending during elections, including use of campaign material.

Parikh, who appeared for the JNUSU, told the court that there was nothing like attendance in the JNU thus this requirement of Lyngdoh recommendation could not be insisted upon. He told the court that even the pattern of semester system was different in the JNU.

Subramanium has suggested some relaxations in his report by which the upper age limit could be relaxed to 30 years with liberty to have photocopy of campaign material in JNU students’ union election.

Parikh told the court that as a temporary measure the JNUSU was willing to go along with Subramanium’s suggestion and pleaded for the vacation of 2006 stay on the holding of elections.

Supreme court bench recuses itself from plea against OBC quota

Justice R.V. Raveendran and Justice A.K. Patnaik, constituting a Supreme Court bench, Wednesday recused themselves from hearing a petition challenging clause procedures being followed by Delhi University and the Jawaharlal Nehru University for admitting students against the quota for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

The bench recused itself from hearing the matter after senior counsel P.P. Rao told the court that the matter should be heard by a bench on which Justice Dalveer Bhandari is present because he had dealt with the matter on the last occasion.

Rao said that since the issue involves the clarification and interpretation of what has already been decided by Justice Bhandari, it should go back to him.While referring the matter to Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia so that it could be listed before an appropriate bench, Justice Raveendran said: ‘I am on the verge of retirement and don’t want to get involved in any controversy.’

Only bureaucrats, politicians gain from quotas: Apex court

The Supreme Court Thursday said that the benefits of quotas are being grabbed by bureaucrats and politicians and don’t reach the people they are intended for.

An apex court bench of Justice R.V. Raveendran and Justice A.K. Patnaik said that people who should get the benefits of quotas were not even aware of them.”It is only the wards of the bureaucrats and people serving in the government who walk away with the benefits of reservation. None of the tribals from Bastar (in Chhattisgarh) ever get reservation benefits as they are not even aware of it,” said Justice Patnaik.The apex court was hearing a petition alleging flawed implementation of the reservations for other backward classes (OBC) in admission to the Jawaharlal Nehru University and the Delhi University.

Apex court hints at lapses in admissions quota in universities

The Supreme Court Monday hinted at lapses in procedure adopted by Delhi University and the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) for admitting students from the other backward classes (OBC) category.

The apex court observation came during the hearing of a petition filed by a former professor of Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, P.V. Indiresan, challenging a Delhi High court verdict of last year that the minimum eligibility criteria for admission under the OBC category would be at the most 10 percent below the minimum eligibility criteria fixed for the general category.

The apex court bench of Justice R.V. Raveendran and Justice A.K. Patnaik directed the listing of the matter July 15 for a detailed hearing.

Senior counsel K.K. Venugopal representing the JNU said that since the admission process was already on, a situation may emerge that the entire admission exercise may become irreversible.

The court said that the percentage of marks secured by the last student admitted under the general category admission could not be relevant for fixing the cut-off for the students under the OBC category.

The court said that going by the cut-off system being followed by the two universities, there could be a situation where a sizeable number of seats under reservation remain unoccupied