The Delhi High Court has passed strictures against the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru Universiry (JNU) for denying admission to a dalit student to the M Phil course. The court also imposed a cost of Rs 25,000 on the university for its “insensitivity and callousness”.
Amritashva Kamal, a former student, had gone to the Chandrabagha Hostel in the campus to save his brother Saurabh Kamal, a first year BA Spanish student, who was being subjected to caste abuse and violence allegedly by a group led by one M K Chauhan in July 2006. A mob then gathered and allegedly beat up the brothers in the hostel premises.
The enquiry committee set up following the incident recommended no action against Amritvarsha and found him to be a victim of caste abuse and physical violence led by M.K. Chauhan. But strangely, the university in May last year debarred him from admission to any of its programmes and courses.
The university justified the action saying despite not being a student of the university, he sneaked inside the campus and took the law into his own hands “He went to the hostel with his younger brother to settle matters on his own instead of informing the authorities The university would not like to admit a student who picks up fight and create law and order situation that could turn out to be very ugly”, the JNU said.
In his petition before the High Court, Amritashva contended that JNU’s order was against all cannons of fair play as the enquiry had fully established that his brother had been unfairly harassed and he had only gone to rescue him.
Finding merit in his arguments, Justice Ravindra Bhatt said “sadly the stark reality of caste prejudice has been highlighted in this case. The JNU, consistent with its mandate of promoting modern education and secular values, unfortunately displayed rank insensitivity. There is no more justice where the victim and the oppressor are treated alike, as where the lion and lamb are afforded the same treatment. That JNU has done so, betrays its callousness, to say the least.”
Imposing a fine of Rs 25,000 on the university, Justice Bhat asked it to him Amritshva to the M Phil course of his choice for the forthcoming session.