The petition has been signed by academics from globally-reputed universities such as Harvard and Columbia, artistes and lawyers among others.
Prof Butler and Prof Chatterjee said in their letter that, they are concerned about the way Professor Menon has had to face repeated attacks from the university administration on her basic right to hold an opinion.
"We therefore request you to use your good offices to immediately intervene in the matter and restore the atmosphere of healthy debate for which JNU has been recognized in the entire academic world," they said in the letter.
According to the petition - which was first send to JNU Vice Chancellor and later forwarded to the President of India who is also the JNU Visitor -, professor Menon has just been removed as chairperson of her Centre, three months prior to the official end of her term.
"Most surprisingly", the petition added that, "this has been done without informing her of any reason for this decision or even giving her the opportunity to explain her position, as is the convention. This shameful victimization of Professor Menon appears to have been triggered by her dissent on the procedural lapses in the constitution of selection committees to appoint new faculty, something she was morally and duty bound to do so".
The petition also alleged that, in contravention of JNU's statutes and to influence the selection process, the Vice Chancellor has been adding committee members from outside the list of academic experts provided by the various Schools and Centres and this is what Professor Menon objected to.
The petition appealed to JNU authorities 'to withdraw the specious charges against Professor Menon and stop this cycle of repeated attacks on her democratic rights'. It also demanded to withdraw the baseless enquiry set up against her.
It demanded to reinstate Prof. Menon immediately as chairperson of her Centre and allowed to perform her duties until the end of her term in December.
(With Inputs from PTI)
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