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The Delhi High Court today held the office bearers of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Students Union guilty of contempt of court.
The verdict was passed by a single bench of Justice V Kameswar Rao in a contempt petition filed by the University against JNU Students’ Union President Geeta Kumari, Vice President Simone Zoya Khan, General Secretary Duggirala Srikrishna and Joint Secretary Shubhanshu Singh.
The Court imposed a fine of Rs. 2,000 on each of the contemnors.
The contempt case was based on an order passed by the Delhi High Court on August 9 last year, wherein it had allowed the students to protest. However, the Court had directed that “no protest of any sort shall be undertaken by the students within 100 meters radius of the Administrative Block”.
The Court had also directed that if its order was not complied with, JNU would be at liberty to request the police authorities for assistance to maintain law and order in the campus. However, the Court also recorded that police authorities shall act only on the evidence of obstruction to ingress/egress to the Administrative Building, being provided by the authorities, which may be in the form of CCTV footage.
The trigger for the present contempt petition was a protest demonstration by JNU Students against the attendance policy and the indefinite postponement of the Academic Council meeting.
The students had raised an objection to the new attendance policy put in place by JNU. In response, the administration had initially agreed to consider their views in the Academic Council meeting, which was scheduled for February 23.
Subsequently, it was announced that the meeting had been postponed indefinitely, triggering protests from students near the administrative building. This prompted JNU to file a petition alleging that the students had violated the August 9 order.
Senior Advocate Akhil Sibal and advocates Gopal Sankaranarayanan, Abhik Chimni and Govind Manoharan appeared for the contemnors.
Read the judgment below.