Ranawat gets relief, HC stays suspension


Jaipur : The Rajasthan High Court in Jodhpur has stayed the suspension of Rajshree Ranawat, the professor at the Jai Narain Vyas University, who was blamed for organising a conference on Feb 1-2, where one of the speakers had allegedly made some anti-national remarks.

Assistant Professor Ranawat’s suspension order on Feb 16 had come from the University Syndicate, a decision backed by the University’s Vice Chancellor and Registrar.

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Rajshree, 39, the English department assistant professor was suspended for organizing a conference where JNU professor, Nivedita Menon, had allegedly made some anti-national remarks.

Menon, who gave her talk on ‘The Concept of Nation and Nationhood,’ had allegedly made some anti-national remarks that Kashmir was not an integral part of India and that soldiers worked for their own livelihood and not out of any patriotic feeling for the nation. The theme of the conference was titled “History Reconstructed through Literature: Nation, Identity, Culture.

After the ABVP students kicked up a ruckus at the campus forcing it to shut down, a police complaint was filed against Ranawat and Menon.

The Syndicate had in its special meeting convened Feb 16 suspended Ranawat on grounds of disobeying orders and not appearing before the fact finding committee that had been constituted by the Vice Chancellor. Ranawat had refused to comply with the Committee orders citing security issues.

The syndicate had also formed a committee to examine whether Ranawat’s service should be terminated.
With no choice left, Ranawat then decided to take legal recourse. She had moved the High Court challenging these illegal orders and praying that her suspension be quashed and all committees, showcause notices issued by the Syndicate and University administration be declared null and void.

Ranawat’s counsel Shivendra Singh Rathore and Kuldip Mathur argued that Ranawat was only the convenor of the conference and could not know in advance what each speaker was going to say and as such she cannot be held responsible for what the speaker’s speech.

The single judge bench of Justice Dinesh Mehta, while expressing surprise that the University had suspended a teacher simply because a particular person had been invited, stayed the suspension and issued notices to all the respondents, Vice Chancellor RP Singh, the Registrar and the University itself.

The next hearing on the matter would be on April 7.

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