High Court Appoints Former Supreme Court Judge Ramasubramanian as Observer for JNUSU Elections

New Delhi: 16 March 2024

The Delhi High Court has appointed former Supreme Court judge V Ramasubramanian as an ‘observer’ to supervise the activities of the election committee formed for the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) elections for the academic year 2023-24. Responding to a petition filed by a student, Justice Sachin Datta directed the grievance redressal cell, established as per the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations, to review and address grievances related to the constitution of the election committee before announcing the final result.

Justice Datta emphasized that if the election committee’s formation is found to violate the law or the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations, appropriate measures regarding the contested elections will be taken by the grievance redressal cell. Additionally, the court agreed with the parties’ counsels to appoint a retired Supreme Court judge, Justice V Ramasubramanian, as the observer to supervise the election committee’s activities during the ongoing election process.

The JNUSU elections are scheduled for March 22, with results expected on March 24. The petitioner alleged procedural irregularities in forming the election committee, asserting bias in favor of candidates aligned with certain ideological and political positions. The court ordered the grievance redressal cell to address the petitioner’s concerns before announcing the final election results, granting the petitioner the liberty to approach the court if needed.

The petitioner, Sakshi, a Bachelor of Arts student, raised multiple grievances regarding the upcoming elections, including concerns about the General Body Meeting (GBM) conducted by two students, Aishe Ghosh and Md Danish, and the formation of the election committee. The petition sought adherence to the Lyngdoh Committee Report’s specifications to ensure the credibility and integrity of the JNUSU elections.

In 2005, the Supreme Court mandated the implementation of the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations, chaired by J M Lyngdoh, to promote fairness and transparency in university students’ union elections nationwide. These recommendations were subsequently adopted by various universities under Supreme Court directives.

Tahseen Ashrafi

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