JNU teachers hail Delhi HC for stay order on 48 academics charged with 'misconduct'

The teachers were charged for violation of Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules during their protest back in 2018
Image for representational purpose only
Image for representational purpose only

The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers' Association (JNUTA) welcomed the order of the Delhi High Court dated August 14, 2019, staying the charge sheet and the inquiry proceedings invoking Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules by the JNU administration against 48 teachers for protesting. The stay was granted in response to the petition filed by 48 charge-sheeted teachers, after hearings spanning over two sessions on August 13 and 14.

Senior counsels Kapil Sibal, Akhil Sibal and Rebecca John along with advocates Abhik Chimni, Maanav Kumar and Nupur Agarwal argued for the petitioners. "The identical memoranda issued to the petitioners sought to implicate them (the teachers) in a mala fide proceeding. They argued that there were absolutely no grounds for JNU to claim that CCS Conduct Rules were applicable to teachers," said the JNUTA, pointing out that the application of CCS rules to teachers would be untenable, as these rules would prevent them from carrying on their basic functions, such as teaching and research. "The JNU Executive Council’s decision in October 2018 and the administration’s own press statement on that – explicitly stating that no CCS Conduct rules have been incorporated into the JNU Ordinances on service conditions of teachers — was also highlighted," added Atul Sood, President of JNUTA.

Counsel for the petitioners also presented before the court the mala fides of the JNU administration in amending Regulation M7(6) (Rule M-7(6) of the Academic Rules and Regulations and the High Court order place certain restrictions on locations of strikes/protests being organised by students) seven months after the event and then seeking to apply it retrospectively to teachers. Also the administration’s deliberate misreading of an earlier High Court order which was meant only for students.

Sood thanked Teachers' Unions and academics across the world for their support, "Our struggle would have not been possible without the solidarity and active support of the Federation of Central University Teachers’ Association, the All India Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organisation, several Teachers’ Associations of Central and State Universities across the country and more than 2000 national and international academics who came out in support."

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