Delhi High Court stays declaration of JNU student poll results
The Delhi High Court on Friday stayed the declaration of the results of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Student’s Union elections till further orders, after pleas were filed by two students seeking directions to the varsity to hold the elections in accordance with recommendations of the Lyngdoh Committee.
“In facts and circumstances, it is directed that the declaration of the final result shall be subject to further orders to be passed by this court. Further, the university is directed not to notify the result till the next date of hearing,” Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said.
The court was hearing two petitions — one seeking elections in accordance with the rules laid by the Lyngdoh Committee and the second challenging the rejection of nomination of a student for a councillor position. While the first plea had said the Lyngdoh Committee’s recommendations on the mode of elections, the students’ representations, frequency and duration of the election process, eligibility criteria, code of conduct for candidates and election administrators have also been accepted by the Supreme Court as well. However, the plea contended that these recommendations were not being followed in the JNUSU elections.
It contended that councillors’ seats have been reduced despite recommendations of the Lyngdoh Committee, which states that each college/school/department has to be represented in the student body. It submitted that in the past there were 55 councillors’ seats, depending on the number of schools/colleges/departments.
It said the election committee (EC), which is constituted primarily from the student body, has reworked the formula and reduced the number of seats by notionally merging school/college/departments.
However, appearing for the varsity, advocate Monika Arora, standing counsel for JNU, submitted that the EC could not have changed the JNUSU constitution and reduced the number of seats, as it would go against the Lyngdoh Committee report.
She also contended that directions have been repeatedly been issued to the EC to hold the election in terms of the recommendations of the Lyngdoh Committee as has been approved by the apex court. However, the varsity’s poll body has failed to accept these directions and is not complying with the Lyngdoh.
The second petition, filed by one Anuj Kumar Dwivedi, had challenged the rejection of his nomination for the post of councillor. He argued no reason was given for the rejection of his nomination form, even by the grievance redressal cell.
At this stage, the counsel for the varsity informed the court that the grievance cell has directed the EC to consider the nomination of the petitioner, however, they have refused to do so without assigning any reason for nomination to the cell. She also told the court that the election is underway and counting would commence from 9 PM on Friday.
She said the results would be placed before the University after the declaration, and a notification has to be issued by the varsity accepting the result, only after which can the newly elected student body take charge.
Following such submissions from all the parties, the court stayed the announcement of the results till further orders and posted the matter for hearing on September 17.
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