Published: 15th September 2020
Delhi HC directs JNU to grant professor extraordinary leave to pursue fellowship
The bench, while hearing the matter via video conferencing, observed that the order passed by the JNU rejecting the extraordinary leave application was "completely arbitrary"
The Delhi High Court on Monday directed the Jawaharlal Nehru University to grant extraordinary leave to a professor who wishes to pursue a nine-month fellowship in a French research institute. A single judge bench of Justice Jyoti Singh directed the varsity to consider the application filed by Professor Uday Kumar and grant him extraordinary leave for pursuing the said fellowship. The bench, while hearing the matter via video conferencing, observed that the order passed by the JNU rejecting the extraordinary leave application was "completely arbitrary" and added that the decision was against the ordinances of the university.
Kumar, a professor in the Department of English Studies, challenged the varsity executive council's February 18 decision rejecting his application dated January 21, 2020 for the extraordinary leave without pay for nine months from October 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. The bench said that it was a matter of great prestige for the Jawaharlal Nehru University that its professor is granted a fellowship in such a prestigious institute.
Advocate Abhik Chimni, appearing for the petitioner, apprised the bench of the minutes of a meeting of faculty members where Kumar has clearly said that he will continue to teach his course online from abroad. In his petition, the JNU professor has also sought setting aside of JNU's letters dated March 3, June 12 and July 7 which reject his requests for EOL without pay for nine months, allegedly without giving any reasons.