INDORE: The Madhya Pradesh High Court has granted interim stay to the action against the head of astrology school at Vikram University who was suspended for predicting, on social media, a comfortable victory for the BJP-led NDA in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Raju Musalgaonkar, also known as Rajeshwar Shastri, head of School of Studies in Jyotirvigyan (Astrological Science) at the Ujjain-based varsity, had moved the court after he was suspended for violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).
Justice Vivek Rusia of the High Court's Indore bench Tuesday stayed implementation of the suspension order till the next hearing.
The judge also issued notices to Principal Secretary of the Higher Education Department, Chief Electoral Officer of the state and Ujjain district collector (who was the district returning officer) and registrar of Vikram University, seeking replies within four weeks.
Musalgaonkar was suspended on May 7.
On April 28, he had written on Facebook that the Bharatiya Janata Party will get close to 300 seats and the NDA will cross the 300-mark in the elections.
Later, he deleted the post, saying it was only an astrological prediction and "if this experiment hurt the feelings of somebody, then I apologise".
Following a complaint by a Youth Congress leader to the district returning officer, Musalgaonkar was suspended for violation of the Code of Conduct.
His petition challenged the suspension, stating that while the authorities took action on assumption that he was a government servant, he was an employee of Vikram University and not deployed on election duty, so the MCC was not applicable to him.
His Facebook post was "purely academic" and did not establish a link with any political party, he added.