Published: 13th September 2019
JNU administration trashes student EC's response as 'misleading' and 'inappropriate', next hearing on September 16
The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) Election Committee (EC) on Thursday said it had conducted the students' body polls "in a free and fair manner"
The drama surrounding the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) elections doesn't look like it's going to die down any time soon. After the Grievance Redressal Committee (GRC) had issued notices to the 60-odd members of the Election Committee that conducted the polls last week — accusing them of several violations and allowing a form of booth capture to go on and so on — they have trashed their response as 'misleading' and 'inappropriate'.
How? By sending another notice to that effect and calling for a second hearing on September 16, a day before the date set by the Delhi High Court for the results to be published. Incidentally, students on the EC have alleged that the notices were served by security guards, most of them male, entering hostels at 11.30 pm and insisting that they serve it only on the person concerned.
Signed by GRC Chairperson Umesh Ashok Kadam, the notice reads, "Your reply submitted before the GRC was found to be inappropriate and misleading in nature. You are again directed to submit your reply along with relevant documents in support of your defence , if any, on September 16, as per the schedule attached."
Students have detailed that they have been asked to appear one at a time to be examined, "We have the option of taking two counsels along so we are asking everyone on the EC to exercise that right," said an EC member. The notice also states that if they fail to show up, then the Committee will examine the case ex-parte and their decision would be binding and final.
The Left-backed All India Students' Association held a protest in the varsity campus against the alleged "GRC interference and intimidation of JNU EC". On Wednesday, Kadam had alleged that students gheraoed his office and raised slogans against the administration.
Incidentally, their initial response to the notice about allegations of wrongdoing during the election was a complete denial. The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) Election Committee (EC) on Thursday said it had conducted the students' body polls "in a free and fair manner" in accordance with the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations.
The EC's clarification came after Dean of Students Umesh Kadam, in a letter to the student-run body on September 9, alleged that it had violated the Lyngdoh Committee Recommendations (LCR) and sought an explanation.
The EC submitted its reply to Kadam, who is also the Grievance Redressal Cell (GRC) chairman. "We, the members of Election Committee had conducted the JNUSU elections 2019-20 in a free and fair manner, abiding by the JNU constitution and LCR," it said in a statement.
Kadam's letter had sought responses from all election body members to 10 allegations. It asked all the members to prove their innocence with documents, the EC said. "The letters were dispatched after office hours with guards coming inside the hostel late at night to get a receiving of the summon," it said.
The EC claimed that the letter was sent in violation of clause 6.8.4 of the LCR which prohibits GRC members from filing complaints. "They said the GRC also violated clause number 6.8.5 of the LCR which states parties are not considered notified until they have received a copy of the complaint; 6.8.7 of LCR which states that the hearing should not be held within 24 hours after the receipt of the notice," it said.
The JNUSU polls were held on September 6 and the counting commenced the next day. However, the Delhi High Court has restricted the varsity from notifying the results till September 17.
The court order came on pleas by two students alleging that their nominations for the election of councillor in the JNUSU were illegally rejected.