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Kolkata: Calcutta HC

Calcutta High Court issues interim stay on rustication of three students

September 8, 2021

Mita Mukherjee

The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday issued an interim stay on the decision of Visva-Bharati University and allowed three students who were rusticated for alleged misconduct to rejoin classes from Thursday (September 9).

In an interim order, Justice Rajasekhar Mantha observed that the expulsion of the three students for three years was “ excessive and disproportionate”.

He said in his order that the “Court is of the prima facie view that the punishment of rustication for a period of three years is excessive and disproportionate to the charge against the students.”

According to the court, “the said order of rustication shall be kept in abeyance” and  “the students shall be allowed to participate in their academic activities…” The court further said “All demonstrations, mass-protests, dharna, strikes and/or by students or on their behalf inside or beyond the University campus shall cease forthwith.” 

All structures and platforms set up for the purpose of the agitation will have to be dismantled immediately, the court said. The court also said that the matter will be heard again on September 15

Somnath Shaw and Falguni Pan, economics students and Rupa Chakraborty of Hindustani classical vocal music were expelled for three years on August 23 on charges of disrupting the academic atmosphere of the institution while taking part in a protest in January this year.

The Central University campus at Shantiniketan, had been on the boil since August 28 when a section of students began an indefinite agitation protesting the expulsion order. The university vice-chancellor Professor Bidyut Chakraborty was confined to his campus residence since then and students blocked the gates. The students demanded that the rustication order of three students would have to be withdrawn and their agitation would continue until their demand was met.

The university later sought the intervention of the High Court in ending the standoff on the campus. On September 3 the court had passed an interim order banning demonstrations within 50 metres of the campus.

The court in its order today said that professors who have been temporarily suspended by the university “may institute appropriate proceedings challenging the orders of suspension in accordance with law.”

Also read: Visva Bharati announces resumption of admission process after HC ruling

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