September 25, 2020

Patna HC quashes V-C order cancelling PUSU president election

PATNA: The Patna high court on Wednesday quashed the Patna University vice-chancellor Rash Bihari Prasad Singh’s order in which he had cancelled the election of Patna University Students’ Union (PUSU) newly-elected president Divyanshu Bhardwaj on March 13.
The bench of Justice Chakrdhari Sharan Singh, while declaring the president’s election valid, ruled that inquiry against the petitioner Bhardwaj would continue.

The court ruled that the action of the V-C was one sided and violation of natural justice.

The PUSU election, after five years, were held on February 17 and its results were declared on February 19 in which Bhardwaj, who was in the fray as independent candidate, was declared winner with 1862 votes.

Bhardwaj, a post-graduation student of Political Science, was earlier associated with Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) but broke out from it after he was not given the tickets to contest the elections for the president’s post.

He defeated Chhatra Jan Adhikar Party candidate Gautam Kumar by a margin of 112 votes. Kumar had got 1750 votes in the election.

However, later complaint were made against Bhardwaj with the PU challenging his election that he had hidden information in the affidavits filed at the time of nomination.

An inquiry committee was formed to look into the matter which found that his candidature is not tenable because he took admission in the Himalayan University, Itanagar, for academic session 2014-17 during which he was the student of BN College of Patna University in Patna.

The committee said that the act was clear cut violation of the UGC directives issued on January 15, 2016 and cancelled Bhardwaj’s election. The committee had also said initiatives would be taken to cancel his admission in Patna University on the basis of above facts.

At the same time, committee ordered to seek information from the Himalayan University, Itanagar to know how the university admitted him in 2014-17 session while he was given college leaving certificate in 2016. Following the findings, the PU V-C issued notification cancelling Bhardwaj’s election after which he filed writ petition before the high court whcih was allowed on Wednesday.

PU’s counsel Abhinav Srivastava, during hearing on April 2, had submitted before the court that the admission of petitioner was cancelled on March 14 on basis of the inquiry. However, the then court had ordered to bring all matters on records.

While a battery of lawyers including Anil Kumar Sinha, Shakib Ayaz, Akash Kumar, Yash Mathur and Ashish Sinha represented the petitioner, SNP Sinha, Digvijay Singh, Raushan Kumar and Ujjwal Bhushan represented the university along with Srivastava.

Courtesy: TNN

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