'Withdraw hunger strike immediately': Delhi HC tells Kanhaiya Kumar, JNU students

New Delhi: Delhi High Court on Friday asked JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar to immediately bring to an end the indefinite hunger strike by students and said it would hear their writ petitions challenging the varsity’s disciplinary action only if they end the agitation.

JUNSU President Kanhaiya Kumar. CNN News18

JUNSU President Kanhaiya Kumar. CNN News18

The court also sought an undertaking from Kanhaiya that he will allow the University to function properly and there will be no agitation.

Justice Manmohan said, "You (Kanhaiya) can 'articulate' to the students sitting on hunger strike from past 16 days to end the agitation, allowing the university to 'function properly'.

"They (JNU students) will have to end their agitations/ strike. You will have to withdraw the strike immediately. No one should be on hunger strike."

It further asked senior advocate Rebecca John, who was representing Kanhaiya, to ask him to speak to the students to end their strike.

"You (Kanhaiya) are a ranger and if you speak to the students, they will abide by you and will end their strike. You withdraw this agitation as you can do it," the court said, adding, "if you abide by our directions only then I will hear the petitions before me."

"Have faith in judiciary. You will have to give an undertaking that you are going to end the strike and allow the college to function properly. You have to ensure that there is no agitation," the judge observed.

The court further asked Kanhaiya's counsel to pursue with them to end their strike.

The counsel present in court on behalf of JNUSU president and others said they will co-ordinate with the students and will get back to the court.

The court has adjourned the matter till further communication is received from the students' leader.

The court gave the directions during hearing of pleas by Kanhaiya and others challenging the university's disciplinary action.

Apart from Kanhaiya, Ashwati A Nair, Aishwariya Adhikari, Komal Mohite, Chintu Kumari, Anwesha Chakraborty and two others had challenged the order of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) against them.

Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya moved the court earlier this week against their rustication. Umar had also been slapped with a fine of Rs 20,000, while Anirban had been barred from JNU campus for five years from 23 July.

Kanhaiya who, along with Anirban and Umar, was accused of sedition for the controversial event of 9 February, was slapped with a fine of Rs 10,000 by the varsity.

Varying actions, ranging from rustication, debarment from the varsity and fines, were taken against them and several other students based on a high-level enquiry committee's (HLEC) report regarding the controversial incident that had occurred on 9 February at JNU.

The petitioners, who have moved the court now, have challenged the fines imposed on them by the varsity.

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Updated Date: May 13, 2016 18:51:44 IST

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