Within 48 hours of issuing, JNU retracts the notice on fines for protests, violence, and misconduct on campus.

The JNU VC withdrew new rules imposing fines of up to Rs. 50K for misconduct, violence, and strikes on campus on Thursday.

In a recent notice, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, announced that the university had chosen to revoke the notification that threatened to charge students who took part in protests and strikes on campus.

This decision follows the dissemination of the previous regulations on February 28, 2023, which JNU students criticized as being “draconian” and protested.

What was the message on February 28?

“Rules of Discipline and appropriate conduct of students of JNU” is a 10-page document that JNU released on February 28. It outlines punishments for various behaviors, such as protesting and forging documents, as well as the steps to take in conducting a judicial investigation and obtaining witness testimony.

A student who physically assaults, abuses, or manhandles another student, employee, or part of the faculty could be fined Rs 50,000, according to the policy.

Rustication, a fine ranging from 5,000 to 50,000 rupees, or the suspension of admittance are all possible punishments. But university professors and students slammed it as “draconian” and voiced harsh criticism.

The Recent Change

The new regulations, which increased the maximum fine for various “indiscipline” offences from 20,000 to 50,000 rupees, were passed by JNU’s executive council (EC) on February 3, according to the Hindustan Times. The rules were in place before, but the new rules raised the fee, and the university specified the severity of the punishment for each act in the modified rules in great detail.

Chief Proctor Rajnish Kumar Mishra announced Thursday that the university withdrew the document that outlined JNU students’ norms and discipline for administrative reasons.

“I didn’t have any idea that there was such a circular. I’m in Hubli for an international conference of some kind. The chief proctor didn’t consult me before the document’s release. I had no idea that a record of this nature was being created. The 10-page document first came to my attention in the media. Santishree D. Pandit, vice chancellor at JNU, told the news outlet PTI why she withdrew it. The chief proctor stated in the notification that the university retracted the document at the request of the VC.

Response of Students to New JNU Regulations

The new regulations had been criticized and dubbed “draconian” by university students and professors. In addition to organizing a meeting of all campus student organizations on Thursday to discuss the new regulations, the JNU Students’ Union also issued a call for protests on Friday in opposition to the “authoritarian rules” put in place by the administration. But it made no comment when the university withdrew the notice.

Vikas Patel, the chairman of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) at JNU, applauded the order’s cancellation. “However, before introducing and enforcing such rules in the future, ABVP requires that all stakeholders must be consulted,” Patel said.

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