An associate professor of Panjab University (PU) has slapped a legal notice on chancellor of the varsity and vice-president of India, Hamid Ansari demanding to restore her powers as chairperson of the music department.
Through the notice, Dr Neelam Paul has asked the chancellor to annul the orders passed by the university by which her powers as a chairperson were withdrawn. Dr Paul alleged that the orders were passed without any jurisdiction.
The university had made Dr Paul chairperson of the department on February 1, 2013 for a term of three years. As per records, Dr Paul was taken off from examination duty on October 10, 2013 following a complaint that many students of Government College, Sector 11, whose answer sheets were checked by Dr Paul, had failed and did not get chance to apply for re-evaluation as last date for applying had lapsed. Later, vide an order dated April 21, 2014, Dr Paul was taken off other responsibilities as head of the department following the issue of delay in payment of salaries to faculty members of department.
Earlier, Dr Paul had written to the chancellor twice, alleging discrimination and harassment at the hands of the PU authorities. A committee was constituted to address the issues which held a meeting on February 16. The committee had recommended to issue show-cause notice to Dr Paul for malign the image of the university. The varsity later clarified its position to chancellor’s office.
The issue of Dr Paul and three other faculty members directly approaching chancellor in violation of rules was taken up in the last syndicate meeting in which members expressed concerns on the practice.
As per PU calendar: “No members of the staff of the university shall see the chancellor of the university, or a minister of any government with which the university deals, in connection with any official work, except with the permission of the vice-chancellor. If a member of the staff wishes to address any official communication to any of them, it must be sent through the vice-chancellor.”
According to sources, PU vice-chancellor Prof Arun Grover was summoned by the chancellor on Wednesday to discuss the issue.
Grover was not available for comments and neither was Dr Neelam Paul.