Delhi HC stay suspension of student over publishing without permission
news Saturday, April 18, 2015 - 05:30
The Delhi High Court on Friday stayed the suspension of St. Stephen’s student Devansh Mehta along with issuing a notice to the college principal, Valsan Thampu. Devansh, who is a student of third year philosophy, was suspended for a week on April 15 after he spoke to the media about his e- zine, St. Stephen’s weekly. He spoke to the media after the publication was banned as it carried an interview of the principal. A one- man disciplinary enquiry report found Mehta guilty of misconduct on the grounds that he spoke to the press. Justice Vibhu Bakhru, who issued the stay, said to The Indian Express, “Let us assume he had spoken to the media, so why would you suspend him?” In his petition to the court, Devansh challenged his suspension and the ban of his publication as it violated his right to free speech. The student has claimed in his petition that he was being victimised by the college principal and that “the principal participated by framing the terms of the inquiry and initiating the inquiry by appointing a one-man committee. It is settled in law that the complainant cannot be a party to the decision-making process.” Devansh also protested against the cancellation of his selection from the Rai Sahib Benarsi Das Memorial Prize, which he was to receive on Saturday at the Dismissal Service. Now the court has restrained the college from awarding the prize to anyone until the court’s next hearing, which is on May 21.  

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