The Delhi High Court Wednesday stayed the JNU administration’s decision to restrain elected office bearers of the JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) from attending meetings of various bodies at the School/Centre level.
The interim order was passed by a single judge bench of Justice Yogesh Khanna in response to pleas by elected JNUSU officer bearers. The court stressed that “no prejudice shall be caused in attending such welfare meetings by the Students’ Union”.
The JNU administration had earlier told the court that they had put out an advance notice that campus election candidates were required to submit their audited accounts within two weeks from the date of declaration of the poll result, citing a Supreme Court order which directed mandatory compliance with recommendations of the Lyngdoh Committee.
It was alleged by the university that despite repeated reminders, the JNUSU failed to submit its accounts of expenditure, and hence the 2018-19 elections were never notified.
JNUSU had challenged the university’s decision not to notify the elected office bearers, hence barring them from performing their duties for not providing separate bills of expenses incurred individually during the election. The petitioners argued that they had followed the procedure that was being followed in the university for years, by submitting self-certified common accounts.
The court also directed that the issue with respect to nullification of the election in the event of non-compliance with the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations be referred to the Grievance Redressal Committee (GRC). The GRC would then consider if the candidates committed default in non-filing of the certified accounts, and the manner in which such accounts were being filed since 2012 till last year.
The court also noted that “without referring the issue of expenses to the GRC, the council on its own could not have restrained the JNUSU from attending various committee meetings meant for students’ welfare”.
It further stated, “Prima facie, after the elections, the university cannot allege breach of Lyngdoh recommendations. None of the letters relied upon by the university were addressed to contesting candidates.” While issuing the notice, the court also asked the JNU administration to file its response within six weeks. The matter has been listed for further hearing on July 19.