Despite legal hassles, Punjabi University has given another year’s extension to its controversial sports director RK Sharma after his first extension expired on April 30.
The Punjab and Haryana high court on April 28 had issued a notice to university authorities seeking its reply by May 10 after Sharma’s former colleague Manmohan Singh moved the high court challenging his extension citing that he had lost the privilege of another service term after being booked in a cheating and fraud case last year.
The petitioner produced before the court the Punjab government’s order dated October 30, 2014, whereby a tainted employee facing any chargesheet or court case can’t be considered for extension.
Sources said the university went ahead with his second extension on the plea that the initial court proceedings did not issue any stay orders.
Both the university and Sharma are likely to defend the move in coming court hearing.
SHARMA JUSTIFIES EXTENSION
Justifying his extension, Sharma told HT that the petition by his former colleague, Manmohan Singh, was filed with malicious intention. Singh’s own service record is highly controversial, Sharma said.
“Not only did he (Singh) face embezzlement charges but also a high-level inquiry in 2006 after one of his students filed a sexual harassment complaint against him,” Sharma said.
Sharma said that he could not be held tainted until he was proven guilty. “The police case against me last year was part of a huge conspiracy and I have already challenged it before a high-level committee probing all the charges, he added
He said he was given extension due to his excellent track record. “Under my directorship, the university won the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy for best sports performance at inter-university, national and international competitions for the fourth time last year, he said while adding that his students performed extremely well in world university games last year and helped India win five medals for the first time.
“This year, the university has been given the responsibility to select all-India teams for the coming world university championships in three disciplines which is a big honour, he added.
However, petitioner Manmohan Singh said that the extension given to him was illegal and he would challenge it in the court.