No place for politics on the campus, says HC

Slamming student politics in educational institutions, a Division Bench of the Kerala High Court has observed that anyone indulging in political activities in educational institutions would make himself liable to be expelled or rusticated.

The Bench, headed by Chief Justice Navaniti Prasad Singh, while issuing an order on a contempt of court petition filed by the MES College, Ponnani, observed on Friday that politics or political activities could not be permitted in academic institutions.

The court said that political activities such as dharna, hunger strike and practices such as satyagraha had no place in a constitutional democracy, much less in academic institutions. Educational institutions were meant for imparting education and not politics. Political parties could not hold to ransom educational institutions or the right of civilized students to receive education.

Besides, the parent of the student who indulged in campus politics must consider whether their ward was going to the college to involve in politics or to study.

Students’ grievances

The Bench observed that if students had legitimate grievances, avenues for ventilating them were legally available. There was the student council, academic council and there were courts, including this court, where their grievances could be raised.

Referring to the submission made by counsel for Students Federation of India activists that students were only staging dharnas and hunger strikes outside the college, the court said that staging dharnas would only vitiate the academic atmosphere.

The court ordered that if any student was found resorting to and staging dharna or strike or disrupting academic atmosphere of any college, the Principal or the authorities of the institution would have the right to “ rusticate them”, for these were no means to ventilate their grievances. The police would be under an obligation to assist the authorities in maintaining peace and orderly conduct of academics on the college premises if they were called upon by the college authorities.

The court directed the police to forthwith remove all pickets, tents, sheds, stalls set up in and around the Ponnani college campus or in its immediate vicinity for staging dharna, hunger strike, etc., and to clear the area of such obstructions.

The court warned and cautioned the SFI college unit secretary to concentrate on his studies rather than indulging in politics on the college premises.

If he was so inclined, he might withdraw from the college to continue his political career. But the two could not go together.

The choice was his. The court directed him to be present in the court on October 16.

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Printable version | Sep 10, 2022 8:47:59 am |