Acting on an appeal filed by three officiating principals of post graduate government colleges (PGGC), the Supreme Court has ordered status quo with regard to their present postings. The apex court on Friday also issued notice to the UT administration to file a reply within four weeks.
Achla Dogra, officiating principal PGGC-11; Mani Bedi, officiating principal, PGGC-42; and Manjit Kaur, officiating principal, Government Commerce College, have challenged the Punjab and Haryana high court order, dated February 25, 2012, whereby it had upheld the UT administration's rules that for regular appointment of college principals, PhD degree would be compulsory.
The high court also said that seniority for promotion to the post of principal was not enough to become the head.
In October 2010, the central administrative tribunal (CAT), Chandigarh, had directed the UT administration to carry out amendment in its rules to consider those lecturers also for the post of principal, who did not possess PhD degree. However, the administration challenged the CAT orders in the high court.
In the apex court, petitioners had stated that they took charge as principals in 2009 under the Punjab rules, 1976, and they were not covered under the new notifications issued in 2010.
According to Punjab rules, for the appointment to the post of principal by way of promotion, PhD was not an essential qualification. Only on the basis of requisite experience as lecturer, a candidate was to be promoted as principal.
The petitioners had submitted that after putting in decades of service, a lecturer was now being asked to possess a PhD for the post of principal, which was unfair. It was submitted that since the petitioners were at the fag end of their careers, they should be considered for promotion.
In February this year, a delegation of associate professors gave a representation to the UT finance-cum-education secretary VK Singh and termed as arbitrary the decision of giving charge of post of principal to those not possessing PhD degree.
The delegation had urged VK Singh to give charge to an eligible candidate as per the rules.