High Court Asks JNU Not To Act Against Kanhaiya Kumar Till July 20

Justice Rekha Palli, in an oral order, asked the university not to take any coercive action as far as depositing the fine is concerned.

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High Court Asks JNU Not To Act Against Kanhaiya Kumar Till July 20

Kanhaiya Kumar was held guilty for doing an act in violation of discipline (File)


New Delhi: 

The Delhi High Court today directed Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) not to take any coercive step against its former students' union president Kanhaiya Kumar till July 20 on a fine imposed in connection with a 2016 incident of alleged anti-India slogans being raised at an event.

The Rs 10,000 fine was imposed on Mr Kumar by an appellate authority of the university in connection with the incident in which slogans were allegedly raised at the event relating to Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru's hanging.

Justice Rekha Palli, in an oral order, asked the university not to take any coercive action as far as depositing the fine is concerned.

The matter came up before Justice Palli as the judge concerned was on leave.

The judge said she has not read the file and the matter should be listed before the regular bench on July 20.

Senior advocate Rebecca John and advocate Tarannum Cheema, appearing for Mr Kumar, said the urgency was that he ceases to be a student of the university and the last date to deposit the fine is today.

Mr Kumar had moved the high court on Tuesday seeking direction to quash office order of July 4 passed by JNU through the chief proctor.

He was held guilty for doing an act in violation of discipline and conduct and the fine was imposed on him.

He alleged in the plea that there were serious lapses towards observing the principles of natural justice and violation of high court's earlier order.

The plea claimed no written notice was given to him and he was not allowed to conduct cross examination of the two witnesses who deposed against him.

"Absolute non-application of mind by the high-level enquiry committee while holding that petitioner (Kumar) failed to appear before the committee, even though he was in judicial custody at the time of the enquiry of the committee," it said.

As an interim relief, Mr Kumar sought stay of the July 4 order of the varsity and exemption from depositing the fine amount.

On February 9, 2016, a poetry event was held at JNU in connection with the third anniversary of 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 Mr Kumar.

It also recommended that another student, Umar 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 Delhi 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 had revealed that the appellate authority upheld the decision against Khalid and Mr Kumar and in some cases the penalty has been reduced.

Mr Kumar, Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, arrested in February 2016 on charges of sedition in connection with the controversial event, are out on bail.

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