The Hindu newspaper reported in an article titled “Jamia pulled up for ‘draconian decision’ against student,” on Sunday, July 24, that the Delhi High Court severely chastised Proctor Masood Alam, in relation to a petition filed by a student of Jamia against the university.
According to the report, a PhD candidate, by the name of Asharaf Kamal, had been cleared by the University Board of Studies to do a PhD in the Dr. K.R Narayanan Centre for Dalit and Minorities Studies in Jamia.
However, our proctor decided otherwise and sat on Kamal’s approval papers with what can only be interpreted as an act with malicious intent. He decided not to forward it to the Center for registration. And as a consequence, Kamal could not begin on his research.
Moreover, neither did Alam feel obligated to inform Kamal on the reasons for not forwarding his approval papers, despite after repeated attempts by him to inquire as to why the papers were not being forwarded.
Eventually, Kamal had to file an application under the Right to Information Act to find out the reasons. It took the might of the Indian State to compel a university proctor to disclose the reasons behind his decision to stop a student from continuing his education.
The reasons offered were even more astonishing than the decision to withhold information in the first place.
The proctor, in the name of the university, informed the court, “[Kamal’s] name could not be recommended for the research work as there was a ban on his entry in the campus for allegedly indulging in indiscipline on occasions,” reported The Hindu.
And what were these acts of “indiscipline” so grave and heinous that justified a campus ban?
First, for “creating disturbance in the University’s library in 2005”; and second, “guilty of parking his car in a no-parking zone in the campus.”
On reading the stated reasons, I’m surprised Kamal did not end up in The Hague in front of the International Court of Justice for committing crimes against humanity. For his crimes clearly tell us we are dealing with a monster.
Now I should make it clear that I don’t know who Ashraf Kamal is. I’ve never met the guy and I have no clue about his character.
However, I cannot think of a reason that would justify such maltreatment of a student.
Everything about this case looks less like disciplinary action, and more like a personal vendetta. The proctor seems to be out to get him.
Justice Kailash Gambhir is reported to have said: “The act of the Proctor is completely beyond the comprehension of this court, as it is an absolutely draconian decision taken by him to ban the entry of the petitioner in the University where he has been a student for the last so many years.”
What Juctice Gambhir doesn’t realize, Alam does not see himself in the role of a University Proctor; rather he sees himself more in the role of a Sheriff. And not just any kind of sheriff, but as the infamous Sheriff of Nottingham.
For him it seems, the law has to conform to his will, and not his will to the law.