Putting an end to the controversy over the change of faculty of Panjab University senate members, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday dismissed the petition moved by three fellows against the university's decision of not allowing them to change faculty.
The petition was listed before justice Ranjit Singh, who while dismissing the case stated that everything was done as per the provision with no "mala fide" intentions."I find that there is no legal infirmity in the impugned order and it does not call for interference of the court," said justice Ranjit Singh.
The university had circulated a notice dated March 12 among the senate members, asking them to send a request for the change of faculty before March 22. Acting on the circular, a few members moved an application for the same and the issue was taken up at the syndicate meeting on March 24 in which the item pertaining to change of faculty of the fellows was rejected by the majority.
In the meeting, which lasted over three hours, the members were at loggerheads over the request made by fellows for the change of faculty.
A total of 12 members were present, of which 10 were against the change of faculty. Ashok Goyal and Dinesh Talwar were the only two members advocating the change of faculty, but were outnumbered.
Unhappy with the outcome of the meeting, Malwinder Singh Kang, Avtar Singh Bedi and Prabhjit Singh, fellows, who had applied for the change of faculty, filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana high court.
According to the university calendar, each elected member of the senate can opt for four faculties - two major and two minor - from arts, science, languages, medical sciences, commerce, fine arts and others after considering recommendations made by the syndicate. Each fellow can, however, ask for a change of faculty after the completion of two years and the syndicate considers the request.
The syndicate members, who did not allow change of faculty, were represented by advocate Gurvinder Singh and Anu Chatrath.
In the petition moved by the three fellows, RD Anand - former fellow and counsel for the petitioners - had maintained that the syndicate rejected the request for the change of faculty owing to "mala fide" designs of some members of the syndicate, who wanted to demonstrate their strength, to convey the message that the vice-chancellor could not be allowed to function without their support. The vice-chancellor, who is the chairman of the syndicate, recorded his dissent on the syndicate decision along with two other members.
It was submitted in the petition that in the past it was a regular practice of changing the faculty even at the fag end of the senate term. But the majority group insisted that the fellows could request for a change in their faculty and it was for the syndicate to accept or reject their requests.
The majority group led by Gopal Krishan had claimed that the change of faculty after the announcement of dates of the election was illegal.