The Delhi High Court on Thursday set aside Jawaharlal Nehru University's (JNU) decision holding former Students' Union president Kanhaiya Kumar and others guilty of indiscipline in the controversial February 9 event last year.
The court asked the university to decide afresh the issue after allowing the students to inspect the records and hearing them and also directed the appellate authority to pass a reasoned order within six weeks of hearing the students.
Last year the court had stayed the JNU order of disciplinary action against the students.
"... The order (of disciplinary action) is set aside and the matter is remanded back to the Appellate Authority with a direction to grant an opportunity of inspection to the petitioner, the record of the High Level Enquiry Committee for two continuous days during office hours only by notifying the date and time to the petitioner for the same," said the order.
The court said after inspection of records students shall have one week time to file a supplementary appeal, upon which the appellate authority shall give a hearing to them, and by considering the appeal(s) already filed by the students and the supplementary appeal, if any, it will pass a reasoned order as expeditiously as possible preferably within six weeks thereafter.
"Till such time, the order dated April 25, 2016 (the students had been found to be in breach of university regulations) shall not be given effect to. It is also made clear in view of the undertaking given by the petitioners they shall not indulge in any strike or dharna or agitation or coercive action in future in connection with the issue, till such time the proceedings between the parties attain finality," added the court's order.
The court's order came on pleas filed by the JNU students --Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and others --challenging the findings of the university's appellate authority.
The appellate authority held them guilty of indiscipline in connection with the controversial February 9 event on the campus in which "anti-India" slogans were allegedly raised.
The university had slapped the students with a number of punishments, including rustication, hostel debarment, and financial penalty on the basis of probe by the High Level Enquiry Committee.
While the appellate authority had reduced the fine of some students, for Khalid and Bhattacharya, the punishment remained the same.
A fine was imposed on Kanhaiya, Umar was rusticated for one semester, while Bhattacharya was barred from the university premises for five years.
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