Screening banned BBC doc on Modi amounts to gross indiscipline: DU in High Court

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The Delhi University (DU) told the Delhi High Court on Monday that students screening the banned BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi without permission, and organising protests despite imposition of prohibitory orders amount to ‘gross indiscipline’, reported Bar and Bench.

The University said that it acted against the students who organised the screening of the documentary based on the newspaper reports which said that the two-part series has been banned in India.

DU filed its response to a plea by the Congress student wing leader Lokesh Chugh challenging his debarment from the University because he allegedly organised a screening of the documentary. Chugh is the national secretary of the National Students Union of India (NSUI). He is Ph.D. research scholar at the Department of Anthropology at the Delhi University.

The student leader was debarred from appearing in any university examination for a period of one year after a protest was organised at DU on January 27. It is alleged that during the protest, the BBC documentary titled India: The Modi Question was also screened for public viewing.

The University said that Chugh was the ‘mastermind’ behind the agitation and that video footage shows that he was actively involved in the screening of the documentary in the University campus.

Their intention was to disrupt the academic functioning of the University, and such act has tarnished the image of the University, it was contended. Moreover, Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) was imposed by the police on that date despite which students gathered to protest, the University said.

It added, “The Committee after watching the videos found that the mastermind of the agitation was the Petitioner. It was observed by the committee that around 20 students had gathered at 4:00 PM to showcase the BBC Documentary and around 50 more students were there to watch the said documentary.”

In his plea, Chugh has stated that at the time of the protests, he was not even present at the spot but was instead at a media interaction.

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