New Delhi, Sep 8: Delhi High Court today said the protection granted to some students, including Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, against JNU’s order holding them guilty of indiscipline in connection with a controversial February 9 event, would continue till September 28. “The protection will be there,” Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said after JNU counsel sought time to file additional documents and affidavit on the petitions filed by students who have challenged their punishment, which ranges from rustication for a few semesters to withdrawal of hostel facilities. During the hearing, the JNU counsel told the court that they have filed affidavit on the pleas of Khalid and Bhattacharya but certain additional documents have to be filed.(ALSO READ: High Court asks JNU to reply on students’ plea challenging rustication)
The counsel, however, assured the court that the varsity would not take any action in the matter as of now. Regarding the pleas by other students, the court asked JNU to file separate affidavits on these petitions as factual aspect of these issues could be different. To this, JNU’s counsel said “the court can hear me on these issues and if the court feels that we need to file separate affidavits, we will file it.” When the court fixed the matter for hearing on September 28, the counsel appearing for the students said the varsity should be asked not to implement the August 22 order against their clients since the matter is pending before the court. The JNU counsel said, “We are not taking any action. We are not in any hurry.”
The court also told the petitioners that the “assurance” given by the varsity of not taking any action till the matter is pending would continue. The appellate authority of the university has rusticated Khalid from JNU till December this year while Bhattacharya has been asked to be out of the varsity for five years. Khalid and Bhattacharya, who were penalised along with 19 others, including Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar, have challenged the findings of the appellate authority.
Kanhaiya and some other students have also moved court against the August 22 order. Kanhaiya, Khalid and Bhattacharya were earlier arrested in a sedition case in connection with the February 9 event on campus against hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised. They are now out on bail.