The Delhi High Court on Friday upheld the disqualification of Rocky Tuseed's candidature by the varsity, a month before his tenure as the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) President ends.
Justice V. Kameswar Rao noted that Tuseed had failed to disclose the disciplinary action taken against him during his undergraduate days at Shivaji College for assaulting another student. This, it confirmed, was against the election Code of Conduct and the Lyngdoh Committee Recommendations.
Tuseed had filed his nomination for the post of the DUSU President on 4 September last year. However, an enquiry was initiated against him on 5 September by Chief Election Officer Mr. S.B. Babbar on the basis of an email received by the DUSU Election Commission, alleging that disciplinary action had been initiated against him in his previous college.
The allegation was subsequently confirmed by the Principal, Shivaji College. Tuseed was therefore declared non-eligible to participate in the elections. He had now contended that the action was arbitrary and that the statement issued by the College Principal contradicted the character certificate issued by them. He had further contended that he was not provided with an opportunity of being heard.
DU, on the other hand, had relied on the Lyngdoh Committee Recommendations, to assert that a candidate should neither have a previous criminal record, nor have been subject to any disciplinary action by the University authorities. It further relied on the Code of Conduct for the candidates, which stipulated that every candidate must furnish an affidavit assuring the same. The varsity had, in fact, advocated for initiation of strong action against Tuseed for violating the Election Code of Conduct, deliberately suppressing material facts and furnishing a false affidavit.
The Court ruled in favour of the authorities, noting that Tuseed had failed to prove that the action instituted against him by his former College was not “disciplinary action” as such. It ruled, “The affidavit given by the petitioner that he was not subject to any disciplinary action by the University authorities, was not correct. Surely, the ground on which the petitioner was declared ineligible i.e there was a disciplinary action against him has caused no prejudice to him, if the material regarding the disciplinary action was not put to him before the impugned action was taken as he was privy to such information and was himself required to disclose it in the affidavit and the petition.”
The Court further agreed with DU, noting that the action taken by the authorities is in conformity with the affidavit submitted by Tuseed. The affidavit had stated that an applicant’s candidature can be cancelled in case the candidate is found to be violating the Election Code of Conduct and the Lyngdoh Committee Recommendations.
“This Court cannot lose sight of the fact that the Supreme Court has accepted the recommendations of the Lyngdoh Committee, which clearly stipulates if a candidate had a
disciplinary action, the same would be a non-eligibility for such a student to stand in the election. The spirit underlying the recommendation is that a person should have a clean record for standing in the election, cannot be lost sight of,” it added.