In blatant violation of its own rules and regulations, Panjab University has gone out of the way to extend favour to one of its retired faculty members.
A varsity professor, who retired in July last year, had filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court along with application seeking interim relief for allowing to continue in the post and retain official accommodation and was granted an ex-party stay. The varsity later filed an application in the Supreme Court for vacation of stay.
Coming to the rescue of that faculty member, it was unanimously resolved in the recently held syndicate meeting that "application filed in the Supreme Court for vacation of stay granted to one of the faculty members not to retire him on attaining the age of 60 years be withdrawn immediately".
The members were of opinion that the senate had already recommended amendment of regulations pertaining to the retirement of teachers from 60 to 65 years. The proposed amendments in regulations were sent to the government of India for which the approval is awaited.
Acting on the decision, the university moved an application for withdrawal of letter send for vacation of stay.
By doing so, the varsity however violated the rules that say that the amended regulation can come into effect only after approvak by GoI and published in gazette of India notifications.
Not only this, the varsity has also flouted its own regulations which state that the syndicate may make rules not inconsistent with the provisions of its Act and regulations, as they may deem necessary for carrying on the executive governance of the university.
Questioning the university, a senate member asked how could the varsity take such a decision when the regulation related to superannuation of teachers was not approved and that too in case of only one faculty member.
After the retirement the faculty member, for whom the rules were bent, around 10 other faculty members retired and moved court to seek relief. As many as five of them retired after the regulations of retirement age were amended by the senate on December 20, 2011.
However, in all the cases the university objected, stating that the amended regulations had not been approved by the government.
In the past also, a large number of teachers have moved court for obtaining similar relief, but their cases were objected to by the varsity.
A faculty member said that it clearly showed that varsity authorities were trying to favour a faculty member who also happened to be a senator and belongs to a strong lobby.
Advocating same treatment for all the teachers, Prof Shashi Sharma, former dean research, who retired on December 31, 2011, said that the varsity should give relief to all retired teachers with effect from 2008.
Echoing Sharma's sentiments, Prof KP Singh, another retired teacher, said that there should be no pick-and- choose policy. "Equal opportunities should be given to all," said Prof Singh.
Prof AK Bhandari, registrar, said that it was a decision of the syndicate and from now on the varsity will not oppose stay obtain by any faculty member after retirement.