Bombay HC upholds removal of 83 research assistants | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Bombay HC upholds removal of 83 research assistants

The Bombay high court (HC) on Thursday upheld the removal of 83 research assistants of the Punjabrao Deshmukh Agricultural University in Vidharbha, over irregularities in their recruitment process.

mumbai Updated: Aug 20, 2012 00:47 IST
HT Correspondent

The Bombay high court (HC) on Thursday upheld the removal of 83 research assistants of the Punjabrao Deshmukh Agricultural University in Vidharbha, over irregularities in their recruitment process.

“If teachers and researchers are appointed by questionable and doubtful methods or by corrupt means, then universities will hardly remain temples of learning and a place for research,” the division bench of justice SC Dharmadhikari and justice MT Joshi said.“Instead, such teachers and researchers may perpetuate the illegalities further and both students and others will be encouraged to do so,” the judges said, adding, “this spells doom for the future.”

All the research assistants were appointed in September 2005 after going through a selection process based on an advertisement issued by the university in August 2004. The chancellor had, however, appointed a one-man committee to inquire into the recruitments after receiving several complaints alleging malpractice.

The committee found that several candidates were recruited for the posts of junior research assistants and senior research assistants through manipulation, favouritism and other malpractices.

Acting on the committee's report, the chancellor, on December 16, 2011, issued an order cancelling the appointment of all 83 research assistants. All of them then moved the HC challenging the termination order, contending that the authorities had failed to find out exactly which appointments were wrongfully made, and had also failed to take suitable action against the culprits.

The court discarded the contention stating it was impossible to establish which of the 83 appointments were wrongful, as the whole process was mired in irregularities. The judges also discarded their plea for a humanitarian approach, considering the fact that their careers would be far more seriously affected if they were terminated after serving for years in their posts.

“A humanitarian approach and undue sympathy will put a premium on the illegalities and a deterrent action or approach then can never be upheld,” the court said while rejecting the plea for sympathy.