The issue of giving voting rights to teachers deployed in the constituent colleges of the Punjabi University, Patiala-which derailed the election process for almost a decade-is still alive and kicking.
The elections of teachers body, known as Punjabi University Teachers Association (PUTA), have not taken place since 2002 owing to this controversy.
In 2003, the elections were stayed after a petitioner approached the Punjab and Haryana high court demanding voting rights for teachers working in the affiliated colleges of the university. The petition was dismissed in 2010 after the court rejected the demand.
In its latest notification, issued by the university registrar, it is stated clearly that teachers of the constituent colleges will not be allowed voting rights in the upcoming PUTA elections scheduled for September 14.
But it seems there are still many a slip between the cup and the lip.
The Hindustan Times has learnt that a similar petition demanding voting rights is still pending in the Punjab and Haryana high court. In fact, the case is scheduled to come up for hearing before the division bench on August 9.
Notably, this review petition was filed in 2010 by few lecturers working in the constituent colleges, after a single-bench court rejected the earlier plea.
A group of college teachers, led by Devinder Kumar Madaan from Bathinda, had re-appealed before the division bench that they should be allowed the right as was the case in 2001.
Several teaching groups in the ten constituent colleges of the university are still pursuing the case actively.
"The university's move to declare PUTA elections is a contempt of court, since the case is sub-judice. We will bring this matter before the court on August 9 in the next hearing," said Madaan.
The ten constituent colleges of the university are in Talwandi Sabo, Rampura Phull, Miranpur, Ghannaur, Chunni, Moonak, Sardulgarh, Jaito and Ghudda.
Interestingly, a section of teachers on the varsity campus has also extended its support to the teachers of the constituent colleges.
A delegation of college teachers had also met Jaspal Singh, vice-chancellor of the university, seeking voting rights before the announcement of the polls.
One of the delegation members said the group would decide their next move after the hearing of the case on August 9.