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What was earlier procedure on poll expense bills of elected JNUSU members, HC asks university

What was earlier procedure on poll expense bills of elected JNUSU members, HC asks university

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) why it was not providing details of procedure followed for poll expenses of elected members of the varsity's students' union before 2018. Justice Yogesh Khanna, who had earlier asked the JNU to apprise the court of the procedure followed in previous years, said, "You (varsity) have not brought what procedure was followed for last two years."

The court was hearing a plea by Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) challenging the varsity's decision to not notify the elected office bearers and barring them from performing their duties for not providing separate bills of their individual poll expenses. "You (varsity) are not notifying them, you are not allowing them to work. What is this going on," the court asked.

The judge reserved the order on the point of whether to issue notice on the petition and said, "I am not saying anyone can bypass the Lyngdoh committee recommendations. Let's see what can be done in this peculiar situation."

The JNU, represented by central government standing counsel Monika Arora and advocate Kushal Kumar, told the court that as per Lyngdoh committee recommendations poll expenses have to be furnished within 15 days of declaration of the results, but the JNUSU office bearers gave a collective bill of 19 candidates who had contested under one banner for different posts. "There was a clear notice by the university asking them to give the poll expenses. Reminder was also given to them. From the collective bill, we could not make out who spent how much. They said 19 candidates ran a combined campaign so they had spent together," Arora argued.

Senior advocate Akhil Sibal, representing the JNUSU and its office bearers, said the court had asked the varsity to come back with instructions on a certain point but they have come back with empty hands. He said the management had neither objected to in previous years when individual poll expenses were not provided nor nullified the elections and this is for the first time that they are asking for bills.

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