HC comes to aid of JNU student & wife; asks varsity to let them stay in hostel

New Delhi, July 3

The Delhi High Court on Friday came to the aid of a couple, one of them a student of JNU, whose marriage was opposed by khap panchayat and had nowhere else to stay except the varsity hostel, by asking the university to make a concession in the instant case.

“It is a humanitarian issue. It is a question of temporary shelter,” Justice Najmi Waziri said to the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) which relented and agreed to let the couple stay at the hostel room allotted to the student—Deepak Kumar.

Central government standing counsel Monika Arora said in court that in the peculiar circumstances of the case, where the khap panchayat was opposed to the couple’s marriage, the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic and they having no place else to stay, they can stay in the hostel room allotted to the petitioner.

In view of the statement by the lawyer for JNU, the petitioner’s counsel—Abhik Chimni—agreed not to press the petition, which had also challenged the varsity’s June 8 circular which said the university would remain closed for the time being and directed students to return to their homes.

The high court while disposing of the petition, filed through advocates Deval Singh and Om Narayan, made it clear that the order was not to be treated as a precedent and the concession was made in respect of the peculiar circumstances in the instant case.

According to the petition, Kumar is pursuing Ph.D (Law) from the Centre for the Study of Law and Governance (CSLG), JNU and has been residing at Subansir (Mahanadi) Hostel, meant for married students, with his wife since 2015.

The plea said that Kumar and his wife were at OP Jindal University in Sonipat, Haryana, in connection with his field work and could not return to the hostel due to the lockdown.

After unlock-1 came into operation, he wrote to JNU seeking permission for the couple to return to the varsity, but received no response and therefore, he moved the high court, the petition said. PTI


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