The Punjab and Haryana high court has stayed Punjabi University, Patiala, orders to relieve all re-employed teachers with effect from February 28.
Hearing a petition of Punjabi University teachers filed by Joga Singh and others, justice Jaishree Thakur stayed the operation of the order till March 8, the next date of hearing.
Appearing for the petitioner, senior advocate DS Patwalia argued against the university orders dated February 20 to relieve the petitioners.
The petitioners are all re-employed professors on extension.
The university syndicate, in its meeting held on December 28, 2013, had decided that re-employment would be for a period of five years by amending the initial term of two years, which had been further extended to three years.
The petitioners had argued that the vice-chancellor, without taking nod of the syndicate, which is appointing authority of teachers, decided to relieve the re-employed professors appointed under the policy.
The petitioners also said the university has taken the decision under Punjab government’s pressure.
The government had withheld grants to the university till it gave a written undertaking to relieve all re-employed teachers.
The same re-employment scheme is being followed by the Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, and Panjab University, Chandigarh, thus the Punjab government has taken wrong decision by forcing Punjabi University to withdraw decision, petitioners had argued.
After hearing the arguments, the court observed that the university has not given a month’s advance notice to relieve the teachers.
“Moreover, in the order, it has been made clear that re-employed professors, who would be relieved on February 28, would continue to discharge their duties towards research scholars who are working under such retired professors so that their research works do not suffer…I am of the prima facie view that the letter of appointment clearly specifies that one month’s notice should be given before terminating the services of the re-employed retired professors which has not been done in the case and secondly, the university itself recognises the fact that their services are required since they have been asked to discharge the duties so that the research scholars do not suffer,” read the stay order passed by high court.
During the hearing, an advocate who represented serving professors of the university, had vehemently opposed the petition and argued that serving teachers’ future would be jeopardised if retired professors were allowed to continue.
The university, under pressure from the protesting nonteaching employees, had issued relieving orders on February 20.