NEW DELHI: In an apparent crackdown on student activities and their right to dissent, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Wednesday issued a notification listing a range of activities that could be perceived as “misconduct and indiscipline” and will invite a fine of up to Rs 50,000 and even rustication.The JNU Student’s Discipline and Conduct Rules has been approved by JNU’s executive council and, according to the varsity, will be in effect retrospectively from February 3. According to the guidelines, the “punishment” can range from “reprimands” to rustication or banned entry, financial punishment, stoppage of any or all academic processes, and expulsion.Divided into two categories, the maximum fine will be Rs 50,000 and/or rustication for “engaging in any attempt at wrongful confinement of any member of the faculty, staff or student” within the campus and for “any intimidation or insulting behaviour”, including physical violence, abuse or manhandling, towards any of them, the varsity said. “All acts of violence and all forms of coercion such as gehraos, sit-ins or any variation of the same” will attract a fine of Rs 30,000 and a cancellation of admission or withdrawal of degree or denial of registration for a specified period, rustication or being declared out of bounds from the campus.JNU specified that while primarily a proctorial inquiry shall prevail, in case a student demands a cross-examination with the faculty, an additional committee may be formed to finalise such cases. “In case any dispute arises with regard to interpretation of any of these rules, the matter shall be referred to the vice-chancellor whose decision shall be final,” the guidelines stated.Terming the guidelines “draconian”, the students’ organisations across ideological spectrums raised concerns over it. N Sai Balaji, national president of AISA, said, “When a proctorial board itself turns into a criminal court, it is evident that the administration does not want to promote a democratic dialogue. There is bound to be different sets of ideas in a university and protest is a way of democratic dialogue. When an amendment makes punishments stricter, one realises that it’s not being done in the interest of students.” He added, “In a university where the fee is Rs 200, fines are being set at up to Rs 50,000.” Vikas Patel, secretary of JNU’s ABVP unit, said, “There is no need of this new Tughlaqi code of conduct; the old code of conduct is sufficiently effective. Instead of focusing on improvement of safety, security and order, the administration has imposed this draconian code of conduct without any discussion with the stakeholders, especially the student community. We demand its rollback.”Under “category I misconduct and indiscipline”, JNU has included gheraos, demonstrations around the residence of any member of the university community, laying siege or any “other form of coercion, intimidation or disturbance of (their) right to privacy”. Hunger strikes, dharnas or “disrupting movements of any member of the university community” will invite a fine of up to Rs 20,000.Others “misconducts” include damaging or defacement of university property, furnishing false certificates, consuming or possessing drugs or other intoxicants, using “abusive, defamatory, derogatory or intimidatory language against any member of the university community” or causing or colluding in any “unauthorised entry”. Besides banning of entry and expulsion, the fines ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 will be imposed for such violations.”Not disclosing one’s identity when asked to do so” by an authorised person will invite a fine up to Rs 5,000.