HC allows girl to attend classes

College suspended her for poll malpractice, punishment now on hold

The Delhi High Court has allowed a Delhi University student to attend classes after she was suspended for a month with a fine of Rs 1,000 on the allegations of indulging in student union elections malpractice.

Kajal Garg, a BCom (H) final year student of Bharati College, moved a petition in court alleging that she had been victimised by the college for being vocal about her right to contest elections and issues related to student interests.

“The petitioner has an unblemished record to her credit. She is ex-secretary of Bharati College Students’ Union and has always been very vocal regarding grievances of students,” stated the petition.

“She submitted a nomination for the post of president for the college’s student union election (2012-13) but it was rejected on the alleged ground that ‘extra-curricular activities are essential and should be mentioned in the form’,” added the petition.

“It is submitted that she has been writing to the principal from time to time about the just and bonafide grievances of the students which were not liked by the principal,” the petition said.

According to her advocate Ashok Agarwal,  when she cast her vote on September 11, 2012, her identity card was confiscated by her teacher for no reason. On September 14, Garg was called before an inquiry committee on September 19 through a letter.

“In response to the letter, she requested the principal on September 18 to let her know the reason for the inquiry process. She stated that she needed the inquiry documents before the meeting was held,” stated the petition.

On September 18, she received a letter saying the college had received a report of electoral malpractice which took place on September 11 and involved the misuse of her ID card, following which she appeared before the inquiry committee on that day.

“She also submitted a letter on the same day stating that she has not received the paper book of the inquiry charges which have been falsely levelled against her with some malafide intention because she had raised voice against the election body which had rejected her nomination form for the president’s post,” added the petition.

The final year student had demanded the chargesheet to respond to the charges against her in writing.

She also made representations to the chairperson and members of the college’s governing body, however, received no response.

“The impugned punishment of a fine of Rs 1,000 and debarring the petitioner from attending college for one month is totally arbitrary, unwarranted and highly disproportionate to the gravity of the alleged misconduct,” said the petition.

The alleged allegations made against her are vague, uncertain, unspecific and unclear, the petition added.

According to Agarwal, the court took note of petitioner’s arguments of procedural lapses and stayed the operation of the said order, directing the college to allow the girl to attend her classes. 

“It further directed the college to produce the inquiry documents on the next date of hearing on February 13, 2013,” Agarwal said.

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