Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Thursday, Sep 25, 2008
ePaper | Mobile/PDA Version
Google



National
News: ePaper | Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous |
Advts:
Retail Plus | Classifieds | Jobs |



National Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Sack Jamia Millia Islamia Vice-Chancellor: BJP

Special Correspondent

Congress backs VC, who has offered to provide legal assistance to students arrested in blasts case


Need to ensure a fair defence for students: Vice-Chancellor

Secular credentials of Dr. Hasan were strong: Congress


NEW DELHI: The offer of legal aid by Vice-Chancellor Mushirul Hasan to two students of the Jamia Millia Islamia, accused by the Delhi police of having indulged in terrorist acts, has become a matter of controversy. While the Bharatiya Janata Party has demanded that Dr. Hasan be sacked, the Vice-Chancellor, quoting precedents, stressed the need to uphold the rule of law and ensure a fair defence.

Congress spokesman Shakeel Ahmed has also spoken up, pointing out that Dr. Hasan’s secular credentials are strong. He told journalists that Dr. Hasan was a victim of radical Muslim elements in the past when he was hounded out of the university. If the students were convicted without proper legal defence, the action would bring disrepute to the university, he said.

BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad described as “most objectionable” and “despicable” Dr. Hasan’s offer of legal aid to the students arrested in the recent Delhi blasts case. He said the Centrally funded university could not use taxpayer’s money for providing legal assistance to those accused of terrorist activities.

In justification of his action, Dr. Hasan pointed out that on April 9, 2000 some 70 students of the university were arrested on charges ranging from attempt to murder to obstruction of public servants and preventing them from discharging their duties. At that time, the university provided legal assistance to them, pursued the matter and got the “frivolous charges” withdrawn vide the December 1, 2000 order passed by the district and sessions judge, Delhi.

To the BJP charge that the taxpayer’s money would be used to defend the alleged “terrorists,” Dr. Hasan said all persons should be seen as innocent until proved guilty. Jamia would not use funds given through the University Grants Commission, but would spend money from its own income through fees and other sources, totalling several crores, to defend the students. Also, the university had a provision for bailing out students in distress under a Students’ Aid Fund, under which over Rs. 6 lakh was available.

Dr. Hasan said the university had already taken disciplinary action, suspending the accused students. If they were proved guilty let courts give them the harshest punishment, but, in the interest of upholding the rule of law they were entitled to a fair chance to defend themselves.

The BJP spokesman was asked why his party did not object to Ram Jethmalani being made Law Minister in the Vajpayee government though he had defended Indira Gandhi’s assassins. Mr. Prasad said that at the time Mr. Jethmalani was told that he could not remain in the BJP if he insisted on defending Indira Gandhi’s assassins.

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail



National

News: ePaper | Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous |
Advts:
Retail Plus | Classifieds | Jobs | Updates: Breaking News |


News Update


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | The Hindu ePaper | Business Line | Business Line ePaper | Sportstar | Frontline | Publications | eBooks | Images | Home |

Copyright 2008, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu