‘Contempt of court by V-C’: Three VBU students move HC

On August 23, the university administration had expelled three students for allegedly “disrupting the academic atmosphere in the university…and being involved in disorderly conduct in the name of protest”.

Three Visva-Bharati University (VBU) students whose expulsion was revoked by the Calcutta High Court last week moved the court on Tuesday accusing Vice-Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty of contempt of court. They alleged that despite the court’s order the university did not provide them with links to join classes despite being ordered to do so by the court.

“On September 8, the Calcutta High Court asked the university authorities to allow us to join classes. The university later issued a notification in this regard. Today is September 14 and we are yet to get any link to join the online classes. Therefore today we have moved the high court against the vice-chancellor for contempt of court. We want the court’s intervention on this,” said Somnath Sow, one of the petitioners.

Meanwhile, the university administration on Tuesday kept locked a gate in front of its central office. This is in violation of the court’s directive. The matter will be heard on Wednesday.

On September 8, Justice Mantha revoked the VBU administration’s order to rusticate the three students, and allowed them to rejoin classes, saying that the decision to expel them for three years was “harsh and excessive”. The court also pointed out that members of the university faculty were “equally aggrieved” by the “alleged high-handedness” of Bidyut Chakraborty.

On August 23, the university administration had expelled Sow, Rupa Chakraborty, and Falguni Pan for allegedly “disrupting the academic atmosphere in the university…and being involved in disorderly conduct in the name of protest” earlier this year. Their rustication sparked widespread protests on the campus that also saw a section of the faculty join in.

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