Above: Rocky Tuseed
The Congress candidate’s name was deleted by Delhi University CEO; Tuseed will fight for the president’s post
Rocky Tuseed, the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) presidential candidate from the Congress’ students wing National Students Union of India (NSUI), was on Friday (September 8) allowed by the Delhi High Court to contest elections. The elections are slated for September 12.
In the candidates’ list, released by the Delhi University CEO, Tuseed’s name was not included.
The order was passed by Justice Inderjeet Kaur.
Tuseed filed a PIL with the court, against the decision of the CEO who had cancelled his candidature. The CEO said that his candidature was rejected due to the disciplinary action taken against him (Tuseed) while he was in Shivaji College. On the other hand, senior members of NSUI held that he had never been dismissed from the college and the same college issued him a good moral conduct certificate as well.
Tuseed had also contested in the past presidential election in the Department of Buddhist Studies of the university and was elected as a president of the department last year. He contended that the Election Commission, as an institution, cannot hold differential standards year-on-year.
Delhi University’s CEO had released a list of six candidates in the running for the post of president, including the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP)’s Rajat Chaudhary and All India Students Association (AISA) Paul Chauhan. NSUI’s Tuseed, however, was not on the list, which is a serious concern for the party (Congress).
On Friday, senior advocate P Chidambaram, representing Tuseed, submitted that there was an anonymous complaint in December 2015, received by the Chief Election Commissioner. The complaint said that disciplinary action had been taken against Tuseed while he was studying in Shivaji College (2014) for his graduation, which made him ineligible to contest the DUSU elections.
Chidambaram told the court: “We (the NSUI) approached the grievance committee against the cancelled nomination to reverse the decision. They replied ‘…immediate procedure is not possible as per the Lyngdoh Committee’.”
Chidambaram’s representation for Tuseed was: “Last year in Buddhist Studies department I (Tuseed) was elected as president and as I was allowed to participate in the last election and hold a good character certificate from the Shivaji College, how I am not eligible this year as per the disciplinary action taken against me in the year 2014, in fact which was not a disciplinary action? I have not been fined, not been removed from the college, not been involved in any bad activities.”
The bench asked why the issue of the Lyngdoh Committee report came up. To which Chidambaram said: “This committee report gives the impression that this is a post-election redressal forum. If the immediate decision is not possible then how can I contest my election? How could the CEO approach Shivaji College behind my back and contact three different institutions?”
The bench clarified if there was anything in the Lyngdoh Committee report that says that these things can be done. The petitioner clarified that there wasn’t.
The bench clarified that according to this disciplinary action at Shivaji College, it was a warning given by the Shivaji College and not a disciplinary action taken against him. To this the petitioner clarified that this was not even a warning.
The bench asked the respondent’s counsel: “I don’t understand what you want to say. What was the disciplinary action? Tell me the meaning of it? What was the punishment given to him?”
The counsel for the respondent said: “His exams were cancelled and he was banned from entering into the college. Hearing was given to him by the committee and for his grievances, but his entry was barred into the college. This was how he was dismissed from the college.”
Petitioner: “It was not a disciplinary action, but just a warning from the Shivaji College.”
Bench: “Tell me what are the rules against taking disciplinary action? What are the college rules and what are the statues, in regards to the disciplinary action?”
Counsel for the respondent said he didn’t have the rules and will bring them later.
Petitioner: “We need to campaign for the election as today is the last day for contesting and the elections are to be held on September 12.”
The bench reserved its order till 4 pm, when the court gave him permission to contest.
The matter will be heard again on September 28.
—India Legal Bureau