The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration Monday allegedly refused to accept the PhD submission of Umar Khalid and another student, over punishment given to them in connection with the February 9, 2016 event on campus where alleged anti-India slogans were raised. Monday was the last day for MPhil and PhD submissions.
Khalid, along with Kanhaiya Kumar and others, had recently been fined by the administration’s Appeals Committee, set up to review punishments given earlier in the case. Khalid was also rusticated for the next semester, despite this being his last semester.
The Delhi High Court had set aside JNU’s order on Kumar and stated that it “suffers from the vice of illegality, irrationality and procedural impropriety”, as a result of which Kumar was allowed to submit his thesis on Monday.
Justice Siddharth Mridul, who is hearing the matter, had told JNU not to take any coercive action against Khalid till the next date of hearing — August 16.
“We didn’t pay the fine. We have already challenged the order, but we moved court again today saying JNU is not complying with the no-coercion order. They were again told to comply. But when I came back to JNU, the proctor refused to accept my submission, arguing that it was not coercion. This is another level of vendetta. I will definitely not pay the fine… I will contest this further,” claimed Khalid, whose PhD on the Adivasis of Jharkhand has been signed by all authorities except the Chief Proctor and Finance Officer.
JNU Chief Proctor Kaushal Kumar Sharma did not respond to calls and texts.
Kumar said he, too, was harassed by the administration for three days with regard to his PhD submission before the HC intervened. “The judge had clearly said no coercive action had to be taken but Umar’s submission was stopped,” he said.
Along with Khalid, Aswathi Nair, who has done her PhD on Political Economy of the Transformation of Zimbabwe from 1980-2013, was also not allowed to submit her thesis. She had been slapped with a fine of Rs 20,000. “The Chief Proctor has completely failed to pay heed to any directive from the court. Despite bringing to his notice several times that this was in violation of what the court has said, he did not relent,” she said.