An appeal preferred by medical superintendent (MS) A K Gupta of Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) against Punjab and Haryana high court order of March 2012 that did not give a green signal to his appointment as professor has failed to find favour with the Supreme Court.
Disposing of Dr Gupta's appeal, the SC bench comprising justice Surinder Singh Nijjar and justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose directed the Chandigarh bench of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) to “decide the case on merits without being influenced by any of the observations made by the high court”.
“In fact, the merits with regard to the plea of delay also have not been considered,” the apex court added.
Gupta was appointed MS-cum-additional professor in 1996, but he approached the CAT in 2010 for considering him as full-fledged professor, after a delay of around 14 years.
The high court in its order dated March 13, 2012, had remanded back the case to the CAT with the observations that the merits of the controversy between the parties had not been considered.
The high court had given the judgment on a petition filed by around 40 faculty members of PGI in 2010, after they were perturbed with CAT's decision of February 24, 2010, to consider Dr AK Gupta as professor since 1996.
CAT's order had allegedly made Gupta a professor with an experience of around six years and 11 months only compared with the requisite experience of 14 years. Other faculty members, who had much more experience than Dr Gupta, thus had become his juniors.
However, Dr Gupta chose to move the Supreme Court against the high court orders on the ground that CAT had given the correct judgment and there was no need to consider the matter afresh by the tribunal.
What is the case?
In May 1995, PGI had advertised the post of MS-cum-professor of hospital administration. But at that time, Dr Gupta had an experience of only six years, 11 months and 11 days as against the required experience of 14 years.
He was selected by the selection committee as additional professor instead of a full-fledged professor with effect from January 9, 1996.
Later, Dr Gupta approached the CAT on the pretext that since he appeared for the post of professor, why he was he given the post of an additional professor instead of a professor.
On February 24, 2010, CAT had given a decision in his favour that he should be treated as professor with effect from 1996, giving him all the consequential benefits and seniority as per the law and his eligibility.