Delhi HC stays JNU Scholar’s Rustication, Cites Violation of Rules & Fairness

The Delhi High Court recently stayed a rustication order of a PhD scholar from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), saying that the institution’s punitive actions are in stark contradiction to its own regulations and principles of justice.

Justice C. Hari Shankar issued a stay order against the office order issued by the Chief Proctor of JNU on May 8 last year, which had decreed the rustication of Ankita Singh on allegations of misconduct, including vandalism and misbehaviour.

The court, while addressing Singh’s plea challenging her rustication, noted a disturbing trend of coercive measures taken by JNU, disregarding established protocols and principles of natural justice.

Ankita Singh’s counsel contended the absence of due process and fair hearings in the disciplinary proceedings leading to her rustication.

Despite objections raised by JNU’s counsel regarding the petition’s maintainability, the court took cognisance of an office order from August 2022, recommending urgent medical attention for Singh.

However, Singh denied receiving any such recommendation or participating in any disciplinary inquiry preceding her rustication.

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Expressing concern over the lack of transparency and specificity in the allegations against Singh, Justice Shankar stayed the operation of the office order and ordered her immediate readmission to JNU, allowing her to resume her studies without interruption.

The court scheduled further hearings for July 9, granting JNU four weeks to submit a counter affidavit.

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