JNUSU office-bearers may lose posts over poll expenditure row; union urges dean of students to stop 'harassment' of members

New Delhi: The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) has been informed by the authorities that the election of its office-bearers will be nullified if they do not submit original bills of campaign expenditure bearing the GST number, according to a letter issued to the students' body. The university authorities said the bills submitted were not in the correct format.

The elected office-bearers of the union had submitted proofs of the expenditure they had incurred during the campaign for the students' body election on 28 September but was asked to submit the original bills in a letter from Dean of Students (DoS) Professor Umesh Kadam on 4 October.

 JNUSU office-bearers may lose posts over poll expenditure row; union urges dean of students to stop harassment of members

Left Alliance supporters celebrate win in all central panel posts of the JNUSU. Rahul Satija/101Reporters

On 9 October, the JNUSU had submitted 28 bills of 19 candidates to the DoS, while stating that the "mashaal" (torch) and bamboo sticks used for the "Mashaal Juloos" on 10 September were bought from roadside shops and there were no bills for those. On 12 October, they were asked to submit the original bills bearing the GST number.

The letter from Kadam said the bills submitted by the JNUSU were not in accordance with the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations which said, "Each candidate shall, within two weeks of the declaration of the result, submit complete and audited accounts to the college/university authorities. "The college/university shall publish such audited accounts within two days of the submission of such accounts through a suitable medium so that any member of the students' body may freely examine the same."

The letter also said each nominee was required to submit original bills bearing the GST number, failing which "the election of the candidate will be nullified in the event of any non-compliance or excessive expenditure". The JNUSU has expressed concerns in a letter to the Dean of Students about the details being sought since there are many shops in and around the university campus, the turnover of which is below the prescribed limit under the Goods and Service Tax (GST) rules, above which the tax applies.

It described the Dean of Student's threat to nullify the election of its office-bearers as an attempt to intimidate the students' body and urged him to stop the "continuous harassment of the elected JNUSU members". Kadam said, "We have been asking them to submit the bills for over a month, but they have submitted consolidated bills rather than submitting the bills of individual candidates."

Meanwhile, JNUSU president N Sai Balaji said the university never asked for the bills of individual candidates, always accepted consolidated bills and even if there were new rules, they should have been informed about them before the polls.

"From 2012, they have been accepting the bills in the format in which we have submitted the bills this year. They asked us to submit the bills, which we did. They are informing us about the new rules now.

"This year, we contested the polls in an alliance and submitted the combined bills. In the last few years, when the AISA contested alone, we had submitted consolidated bills even then," he said.

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Updated Date: Oct 16, 2018 09:08:42 IST