The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday stayed the retirement of Panjab University (PU) professors Amar Nath Gill and Bhura Singh Ghuman. Gill is a professor in department of statistics and Ghuman in department of public administration. Both were to retire on Monday after turning 60.
The decision came from the court headed by justice Sabina on petitions filed by both the professors alleging that PU had failed to implement the Central government’s composite scheme of 2008 enhancing the retirement age from 60 to 65 years, even as the varsity was funded by the central government to the extent of 92%.
On the request of petitioners’ counsel Sameer Sachdeva, the court also impleaded department of higher education of Punjab government party in the case and issued it notice of motion to file reply by August 5.
“Till then (August 5), the petitioners be allowed to continue in service and the said service rendered by the petitioners shall be subject to the decision of the writ petition,” the court said.
The high court had already issued notices of motion to PU as well as union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) earlier to file their replies to the contentions raised in the petition.
The petitioners had informed the court that the university would retire them on June 30 by wrongly taking the superannuation age as 60 years instead of 65 years as mandated under the UGC regulations, 2010, which are binding on the university.
The court was requested to issue directions to the authorities concerned to allow the petitioners to continue in service up to the age of 65 years with all consequential benefits as per PU’s own decision to adopt and implement the UGC regulations, 2010, vide resolution dated June 29, 2010.
It was submitted that on December 20, 2011, the varsity amended the university regulation 17.3 raising the age of superannuation of teachers to 65 years.
These amended regulations had been sent to the MHRD for approval, for which approval is not even required as the UGC regulations had been framed by the central government itself and the centre had been insisting on its compliance, so a mere compliance report of implementation was required to be sent.
The petitioners also submitted that formal approval was pending since 2011 and the rights of teachers cannot be postponed indefinitely.
It was also submitted that a letter dated April 26, 2012, regarding clarification from the MHRD to the vice-president of India, the ex-officio chancellor of PU, categorically clarified that the UGC regulations, 2010, are applicable to the varsity.