The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday imposed a temporary suspension of the hardiness order on three students at Visva Bharati University (VBU) and allowed them to join classes and participate in other academic activities. Sonmnath Sow, Falguni Pan and Rupa Chakrabortty were expelled for three years on August 23 by university authorities for participating in a protest on campus in January …
The High Court of Calcutta Wednesday imposed a intermediate stay on the order of rustication of three students of Visva Bharati University (VBU) and allowed them to join classes and participate in other academic activities.
Sonmnath Sow, Falguni Pan and Rupa Chakrabortty were kicked out for three years on August 23 by university officials for participating in a campus protest in January this year. Their hardiness had sparked widespread protests on campus which also saw the participation of part of the faculty. The demonstrators even staged a demonstration outside the residence of Vice-Chancellor Bidyut Chakroborty and subsequently demanded his resignation.
Judge Rajasekhar Mantha Wednesday felt that rustication was “Excessive and disproportionate”‘and consequently observed,
“This Court is of the prima facie view that the rusticity sentence for a period of three years is excessive and disproportionate to the charge against the students. Said rustication order will be kept in abeyance. Students will be allowed to participate. to their academic activities”
The Court also noted that the faculty members of the university were âequally wronged‘by the action of the vice-chancellor.
âUniversity professors and teachers are also aggrieved by the alleged authority of the University’s vice-chancellor. Professors can take appropriate action to challenge suspension orders in accordance with the law â, the Court has ruled.
Rustic students reportedly broke the seal on the door to a professor’s room in the economics building. Subsequently, a special investigation was initiated by the vice-chancellor of the University to investigate the allegations against the three students. The students were heard and a hardiness punishment was pronounced for a period of three years.
Basic education level and maturity required to make informed decisions in politics
The Court further observed that university students must ensure that they possess a “basic level” of maturity and education before succumbing to political ideology.
“A basic level of education and maturity is required for a student to make an informed decision before accepting or following an ideology. Exposure to crude ideologies in the absence of such education would amount to indoctrination “, noted the Court.
The Court also ordered an immediate end to all student unrest on campus and therefore observed,
“All demonstrations, mass protests, dharna, strikes and / or unrest by or on behalf of students inside or outside the university campus must cease immediately. All platform structures built for this purpose must be dismantled immediately.”
All parties concerned were also requested to assist the Court in settling any outstanding disputes amicably.
The case is scheduled for a rehearing on September 15th at 11:30 am.
Case title: Visva Bharati and another v. State of West Bengal and the Golds
Click here to read / download the order