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The appellate authority which heard the appeals of the 21 JNU students who were penalised in connection with the controversial February 9 event has found all of them guilty of indiscipline even as the financial penalty imposed on some of them has been reduced.
“The panel has found guilty the 21 students who were penalised in connection with the February 9 event. The punishments still stand but fines imposed on few students have been reduced. Fresh letters informing the decision have been issued to students,” a source said.
There was, however, no clarity on who all have benefited with reduction of penalty. In the light of the recommendation of the High Level Enquiry Committee and subsequently the recommendation of the panel constituted to assist the Appellate Authority, the university had yesterday informed that the Vice Chancellor has come to a conclusion and has taken the final decision on the appeals made by the students.
JNU was at the centre of a controversy in February this year because of an event on campus against hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised. Three students including the students union president Kanhaiya Kumar were arrested in a sedition case over the event and are now out on bail. 21 JNU students were slapped with varied punishments ranging from rustication, hostel debarment to financial penalty on basis of the probe by the HLEC which found them guilty of violation of discipline norms.
The students had gone on an indefinite hunger strike against the decision which lasted for 16 days. As the varsity refused to relent and withdraw the punitive action proposed against the students despite their failing health, some students moved the Delhi High Court challenging the action. Following this, the High Court issued directions to JNUSU to immediately withdraw the hunger strike and to not launch any fresh agitation. It had stayed action against the students till their appeals have been decided by the appellate authority.
JNU had then formed a four-member committee to hear appeals of those who had been found guilty of indiscipline by the varsity probe panel.