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Sedition row: Delhi HC sets aside JNU’s order imposing penalty on Kanhaiya Kumar, calls it ‘illegal’

A Rs 10,000 fine was imposed on Kanhaiya Kumar by an appellate authority of the university in connection with a 2016 incident in which anti-India slogans were allegedly raised at an event relating to Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru’s hanging.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: July 20, 2018 5:50:26 pm
Illegal, irrational: Delhi HC on fine imposed on Kanhaiya Kumar by JNU, sets it aside Former JNU student Kanhaiya Kumar. (File Photo)

The Delhi High Court on Friday set aside Jawaharlal Nehru University’s order imposing fine against its former student’s union president Kanhaiya Kumar. Calling the university’s order “illegal, irrational and irregular,” the court directed the administration to decide the matter after a proper hearing.

A Rs 10,000 fine was imposed on Kumar by an appellate authority of the university in connection with a 2016 incident in which anti-India slogans were allegedly raised at an event relating to Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru’s hanging. To protest against the penalty imposed on him, Kumar had moved the Delhi High Court.

Earlier this week, the Delhi High Court directed JNU to not take any coercive step on the fine till today’s hearing. The last date to pay the fine was July 18, 2018.

On February 9, 2016, a poetry event was held at JNU in connection with the third anniversary of Guru’s hanging for his role in the attack on Parliament on December 13, 2001. A high-level panel of JNU had in 2016 recommended a fine of Rs 10,000 on Kumar. It also recommended that another student, Umar Khalid, be rusticated in connection with the incident. Besides, financial penalty was imposed on 13 other students for violation of disciplinary norms.

In a Facebook post, earlier this week Khalid vowed to fight the university’s order and added that the students would not “lie low”.“An administration that has been running at the orders of the ruling BJP and the RSS, was at no point of time in a position of impartiality to conduct this enquiry. The court has repeatedly found faults with the enquiry process and have vindicated our apprehensions,” Khalid wrote in the post. The PhD scholar said that they were being “targeted in a systematic and a malafide manner by an enquiry that was prejudiced against us from day one”.

Kumar, Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, arrested in February 2016 on charges of sedition in connection with the controversial event, are out on bail.

(With inputs from PTI)

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