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Sanjeev Verma , Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, October 24, 2013
The Punjab and Haryana high court has imposed a fine of Rs. 50,000 on the Panjab University for not taking any remedial step to rectify its illegal order of penalising DAV College managing committee with Rs. 5.74 lakh for not appointing principal in DAV College of Education, Hoshiarpur, for a period of one year in 2007-08.

Setting aside varsity's order, justice Mahesh Grover observed that the it had no authority under any rule to penalise the DAV College managing committee in financial terms and despite directions from the court; the varsity had failed to rectify its mistake.

The court ordered the varsity to deposit the fine in high court's mediation and conciliation centre within a period of two months.

DAV College managing committee had approached the high court in 2009 challenging Panjab University's order dated November 4, 2009, through which the varsity had imposed a penalty of `50,000 per month on it, totaling `5.74 lakh.

The penalty was imposed since the DAV College of Education, Hoshiarpur, was not having principal from August 2007 to July 2008. In 2009, the high court had stayed the varsity's order of penalising the petitioner.

The petitioner had contended that the varsity had failed to appreciate the fact in correct perspective that it had no authority to impose financial penalty under any rule. The petitioner had further argued that though the incumbent, Bhupinder Singh, was then recommended by the selection committee but his appointment was not approved by majority of the members of college managing committee. This fact was communicated to the Panjab University apart from other relevant parties.

The petitioner had also submitted that the only recourse available with the varsity was in terms of regulation 11.1 of the Panjab University Calender. As per the regulation, the Syndicate had the authority to impose various penalties on the college like "the university may withdraw affiliation granted to the college in part or in whole."

Justice Grover, however, observed that though the university had sought to satisfy the imposition of penalty by making submission before the court but did not file any reply despite repeated opportunities. Rather the university authorities submitted that the court might pass an appropriate order.