The suspended vice-chancellor of Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University, Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, has approached the Punjab and Haryana high court challenging his suspension orders that were allegedly issued at the behest of Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Avtar Singh Makkar for "not complying with his (Makkar's) illegal orders".
Ahluwalia, a former civil services officer, took over as the V-C of the Fatehgarh university on June 6, 2008, and was placed under suspension on July 31. Makkar also holds the post of the university chancellor.
Taking up Ahluwalia's petition, a bench headed by Justice Rajesh Bindal issued notices of motion to the university, Punjab government, SGPC, Makkar and acting university vice chancellor Gurnek Singh for submitting their replies before the next date of hearing on August 13.
Ahluwalia alleged that when he was "incapacitated" from attending office from August 1, 2011, to March 7 this year -he was undergoing treatment after he was shot at on August 1 last year -then acting vice-chancellor Gurnek Singh and Makkar made 92 appointments in illegal manner without issuing public advertisements and not following any selection process.
He alleged that Rs 7 crore were spent on purchases for which there were no vouchers and Makkar's grandson was also appointed to a post in the university. Ahluwalia also submitted that when he refused to comply with Makkar's directions of filing favourable reply in the high court in a petition challenging the illegal appointments, he got infuriarated and had threatened him with "removal from service and implication in criminal cases."
He informed the court that there was no provision in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University Act 2008 providing for suspension. He added that his term as vice-chancellor would expire in June 2013 and has thus left with service of more than 10 months.
He also said in the absence of any provision for payment of subsistence allowance, he was entitled to his full salary and allowances for the period of suspension. After Ahluwalia's suspension, it was ordered that he would be paid 50% salary and allowances and all perks such as cars, security, telephone etc would be withdrawn.
The petitioner has also sought directions from the high court to restrain Makkar from participating in any decision-making process with regard to his service and restraining the state government from taking any adverse action against him without issuance of seven days prior notice.
He also prayed for an impartial inquiry from an outside agency into the university's affairs.