The Delhi High Court in a case involving expulsion of a student by Jawahar Lal Nehru University (JNU) in the year 2011, remarked that it is a mere mockery of principles of natural justice.

A student named Balbir Chand had filed a writ petition challenging the order of the Vice Chancellor of JNU in exercise of the powers conferred on him by Statute 32(5) of the Statute of the JNU by which he was expelled from the premises of JNU with immediate effect.

A Single Bench of Justice C. Hari Shankar said, “The manner in which the JNU has proceeded in the case of the petitioner is a mere mockery of the principles of natural justice and fair play. It is also in the teeth of the principles governing holding of proctorial enquiries in the JNU, as has already been observed by this Court in Swati Singh.”

The Bench observed that it is not necessary for to enter into the factual thicket in the case, as the manner in which the JNU proceeded against the petitioner cannot survive even the most liberal approach by any Court conversant with the rule of law.

Advocate M.P.S. Kasana represented the petitioner while Advocate Meenakshi represented the respondent.

In this case, the JNU ordered that the name of the petitioner student be removed from the rolls of JNU forthwith. The case revolved around four communications issued to the student by the JNU who was undertaking his Master of Computer Application (MCA) Course. He appeared before the Chief Proctor in compliance with the directive contained in the communication.

The petitioner was informed, then, that a video file containing objectionable material was found in his personal laptop, which indicating that he had ragged certain students of the JNU. He denied the allegation, and specifically asserted that no such objectionable video file was available on his laptop. Within a week thereof, the JNU proceeded to issue Office Order and thereafter, a Show Cause Notice was issued to him.

The High Court in view of the above facts noted, “The fact that the JNU was all along acting with a pre-determined intent of removing the petitioner from his premises is apparent even from the issuance of the show cause notice on 11 February 2011 and the impugned order within 24 hours thereof on 12 February 2011. The “opportunity” to the petitioner to file a reply to the show cause notice was therefore a mere eye wash, and nothing more.”

The Court said that it is a matter of concern that the JNU, which is a premier University, has acted in this fashion.

“As the incident is today of 12 years vintage, I say no more”, it added.

“It would be for the petitioner, if he so chooses, to approach the JNU for completion of his MCA. In case he does so, the JNU shall permit the petitioner to complete his course”, the Court further ordered.

The Court concluded that the petitioner cannot be prejudiced as a result of the pendency of the writ petition, especially as the decision to expel him has been found to be illegal and it would be for the JNU to take appropriate steps in order to ensure that he is able to complete his MCA course, in the best manner possible.

Accordingly, the High Court allowed the petition.

Cause Title- Balbir Chand v. Jawahar Lal Nehru University (Neutral Citation: 2024:DHC:2607)


Petitioner: Advocates M.P.S. Kasana and Kanchan.

Respondent: Advocate Meenakshi

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