THE RAJASTHAN High Court Monday stayed a decision by Jai Narain Vyas University in Jodhpur to suspend an assistant professor for organising a seminar on campus last month during which JNU professor Nivedita Menon allegedly delivered controversial remarks on the Indian Army and Kashmir, leading to protests by the ABVP.
A single-judge bench of the High Court stayed the university’s order and issued notices to its vice-chancellor and registrar, seeking their response by the next date of hearing on April 7.
“In the meanwhile and until further orders, effect and operation of the order dated 16.07.2017 placing the petitioner under suspension remain stayed,” Justice Dinesh Mehta said in his order.
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When contacted, JNVU registrar B S Sandu told The Indian Express, “We have not received any notice or communication from the High Court in this regard. As of now, I am not aware of this development.”
Ranawat’s lawyer Shivendra Singh Rathore said, “The High Court bench heard our arguments and based on facts, stayed the suspension order as well as the committee formed by the university to look into Professor Ranawat’s termination.”
The university had suspended Ranawat after accusing her of “encouraging” Menon to deliver the remarks during the conference titled “History Reconstructed through Literature: Nation, Identity, Culture”, hosted by its English department on February 2.
The university later filed a police complaint against Menon and Ranawat. The seminar also triggered protests by members of ABVP, who shut down the campus on February 3.
At the time, the university’s vice-chancellor R P Singh had quoted Menon as allegedly saying that Kashmir was not an integral part of India and that soldiers worked for their livelihood and not the nation. But Menon denied the charges and said that an “unnecessary controversy” had been created “based on rumours”.
”I never said anything about Kashmir being illegally occupied by India.the organiser introduced me as someone who had said so in an earlier speech from last year. Regarding the soldiers, I said that the Army is also a means of livelihood and that if we loved our soldiers why do we treat them badly,” Menon had said.
On February 16, Ranawat was suspended following a decision by the university syndicate, which also formed a committee to look into the possibility of “terminating her services”. Ranawat challenged the university’s order last Wednesday.