New Delhi: Taking a lenient view of a student bashing up a professor and misbehaving with another, the Supreme Court has allowed him to revive a petition in the Chhattisgarh High Court for relief against his rustication by his university.

A bench of justices A K Patnaik and Madan B Lokur disposed of an appeal filed by Guru Ghasidas University challenging the high court's interim order of taking a lenient view of the incident on the basis of an apology tendered by the student Craig Mcleod.

However, it said that discipline is more important than individual interests of a student.

"This by itself is a rather serious allegation. While the high court may have intended to bring a quietus to the entire episode, it should have kept in mind that maintenance of discipline in the university is equally important for a conducive academic environment and that the larger interests of the academic community are more central than the individual interests of a student," the apex court said.

The university has challenged the high court order on the ground that Mcleod did not tender any apology to the satisfaction of the professors on the alleged assault which took place on February 2, 2010.

During pendency of the case, the university had passed an order on January 7, 2011 rusticating Mcleod from the varsity for five years.

It was also ordered that he was not entitled to get admission in any course in the university or any of its affiliated colleges during this period of five years.

Mcleod had chosen to withdraw his petition in the high court and sought to file an application in the apex court which he however, did not do.

But since the student had already lost two years in the litigation, the bench directed the high court to permit Mcleod to revive his original writ petition.

"We expect the high court to permit revival of the writ petition and decide it expeditiously since it is stated that Craig Mcleod has already lost two years of his education as result of this litigation," the bench said.


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