Delhi chief minister attends Stephen’s convocation amid controversy

New Delhi(Story Matters India): Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Saturday attended the convocation of St Stephen’s College as the chief guest amid a controversy over the suspension of a student.

A section of students has been campaigning to get Kejriwal to boycott the graduation ceremony.

Devansh Mehta – the editor and co-founder of ‘St Stephen’s Weekly’ e-zine – was barred by the college from attending classes for launching an online magazine. Mehta was also stripped off a good conduct award which he was to receive today from Kejriwal.

The college is managed by the Delhi diocese of the Protestant Church of North India.

On Friday, the Delhi High Court stayed Mehta’s suspension after he challenged the ban on the magazine and accused principal Reverend Valson Thampu of putting “fetters on the fundamental right to free expression.”

In its order, the court said the relief was provided since the student pleaded that the suspension could irreversibly impact his career in Columbia School of Journalism in the US, where he has been accepted. The Columbia University, he had said, might cancel his admission.

The court, however, did not ask the college to restore the good conduct award thatMehta was to receive from Kejriwal. The court has fixed the next hearing in the case on May 21.

Mehta had been suspended till April 23 for “breach of discipline” over an interview of the principal last month. Rev Thampu had said the piece – which registered over 2,000 hits – had not been cleared by him for publication. The e-zine was also banned.

A third year student of philosophy, Mehta called the ban “arbitrary, illegal, malafide and shockingly unreasonable” in his petition, ndtv.com reported.

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