HC stays JNU action against Kanhaiya, others

The Delhi High Court on Friday put on hold the disciplinary action by Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), including rustication, against Students' Union president Kanhaiya Kumar and others till their appeal against the order is heard and decided by the varsity's appellate authority.

Justice Manmohan recorded an undertaking given by the students, who have filed writ petitions challenging the university's order that they withdraw their ongoing hunger strike and not indulge in any further agitation. The order is based on a report of the High-Level Enquiry Committee (HLEC),

The court also said that if the JNU vice-chancellor, who is the appellate authority, rejects the appeal of students, the decision would not be given effect till two weeks. This will enable the students to move the high court again to challenge the decision.

The judge said the students would not indulge in any strike, dharna or agitation on the university campus. The petitions were filed by eight students challenging the penalties imposed on them by JNU for their alleged role in a controversial event organised on University campus on 9 February.

Based on the HLEC's report, JNU had taken varying actions, ranging from rustication to debarment from the varsity and imposition of fines, against the petitioners and other students and research scholars.

The high court had earlier this week asked the JNU administration to explain the decision for rustication of two students, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, who were also accused of sedition, and submit relevant documents as well as the five-member HLEC's report.

Kumar - who was slapped with a fine of Rs10,000 - Khalid and Bhattacharya are currently out on bail following their arrest on charges of sedition in connection with the February 9 event marking the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.