New Delhi: In some relief to JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar and others who have the challenged the disciplinary action ordered against them by the varsity, Delhi High Court on Friday put the decision on hold till the appeals of the students are decided by the appellate authority.
Justice Manmohan issued the direction after the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) undertook to immediately withdraw its hunger strike and not to indulge in any further agitation. The court in its order also said if the appeals of the students were rejected, then the order of appellate authority would not be given effect to till a period of two weeks.
“... till appeals of the students are heard and disposed of, impugned orders (of 25 April) will not be given effect to. In the event appeals of the petitioners are rejected, the appellate orders will not be given effect to a period of two weeks,” the court said in its order.
The judge made it clear that the “protection is conditional upon JNUSU complying with its undertaking that it will immediately withdraw the continuing strike and will not indulge in any further dharna, agitation or strike”.
The court also told the students to “bring the temperature down” as the issue was “too hot right now” after the lawyers for the students claimed that some form of protest should be allowed if something else happens in future.
The court, thereafter, gave them the liberty to move “peaceful representations” before the authorities concerned and also asked the varsity to be “reasonable” and to be “alive to the situation”.
The order, however, would not be applicable to Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, who have challenged their rustication, till they file an application saying they would be appealing against JNU’s decision which was taken on the basis of recommendations of a high level enquiry committee.
When the court asked the counsel for the students to undertake that there would be no agitation in future in the university campus, the lawyers said there were various other groups which might resort to some “mischief”.
To this, the court observed, “He (Kanhaiya) is the president of JNUSU and he has a following. If he will say no strike then there should not be any strike there. He is very articulate and he has to assert himself.”
“JNU should be a normal place with no journalists hanging around there. Let them (students) study,” the court said and asked the counsel appearing for the varsity, “You (JNU) should reasonably accommodate with the students. Be alive to the situation and speak to them.”
“They (students) should not be wasting their time. Exams are going on,” the court said while disposing of the petitions filed by various students, including Kanhaiya.
Varying actions, ranging from rustication, debarment from the varsity and imposition of fines, were ordered against 21 students based on the high-level committee report regarding the controversial incident that had occurred on 9 February at JNU.
The petitioners, who have moved the court now, have also challenged the fines imposed on them by the university.