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Saturday, Sep 21, 2019

HC stays removal of Nahar as Panjab University DSW

The court stay came after Emanual Nahar and five senators demanded his reinstatement or a fresh senate meeting to decide on his extension.

punjab Updated: Sep 04, 2019 13:00 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Panjab University’s dean of student welfare (DSW) Emanual Nahar  interacting with students during a protests.
Panjab University’s dean of student welfare (DSW) Emanual Nahar interacting with students during a protests.(HT Photo)
         

The Punjab and Haryana high court has stayed the removal of Emanual Nahar as Panjab University’s dean of student welfare (DSW), observing that the “tearing haste” in which the decision was taken indicated that vice-chancellor (V-C) Raj Kumar wanted his dissent against Nahar’s continuation “to prevail”.

Following the order passed on Monday and released on Tuesday, DSW Nahar attended office.

PU, however, has decided to challenge the single-judge order with sources saying that a request for urgent hearing will be made at 10am on Wednesday before the court to list the matter same day. Officials, it has been learnt, remained busy drafting documents till late at night.

The court stay came after Nahar and five senators demanded his reinstatement or a fresh senate meeting to decide on his extension.

Nahar had challenged the V-C’s order passed on August 22, hours after a marathon senate meeting that failed to reach a consensus on giving extension to Nahar, that gave the additional charge of DSW to Jagat Bhushan, principal cum professor, Dr Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences & Hospital, PU.

Even during the 15-member syndicate meet that was held on May 28 and had discussed the extension issue, the only voice of dissent was that of vice-chancellor Raj Kumar.

Staying Nahar’s removal the high court bench of justice Arun Monga observed that the reason given by the senate for Nahar’s removal had to be “taken with pinch of salt” as it was cited late during the last leg of the court hearing on Monday.

Even the order to replace Nahar with Jagat Bhushan was passed though the latter was unavailable, the court observed.

The court gave PU seven days to call a senate meeting and take a decision on the matter.

Though the V-C’s order was passed on August 22, it was “intriguingly” not circulated among the senators for their approval, the court said. 

University records before the court reflected that the resolution was merely signed by the V-C as a solitary vote and did not bear the signatures of any other member of the senate, the court observed.  

The court also took note of a 2016 DSW appointment in which former V-C AK Grover’s recommendation to appoint JK Goswami as DSW was overturned by the syndicate and then the senate.

The court observed that the minutes of the meeting were “discernibly” missing, wondering why the registrar did not record them. According to PU norms, the minutes have to be sent to the senate within a month. The video recording of the senate proceedings too went against what was produced by PU, it added.

According to Nahar, the recording showed 48 members demanding a vote and the V-C abruptly ending the meeting.     

Prime facie it can be assumed that “there is no such decision” (on the DSW’s removal) until the same is done, Nahar should be allowed to continue as DSW, the court said.

HOW THE DSW MADE IT BACK TO OFFICE

May 28: Syndicate recommends Nahar’s extension with V-C’s dissent

August 22: Senate fails to take a decision, V-C removes Nahar, students launch protest

August 26: 14 students’ organisations lock down the DSW office, Bhushan takes charge but not in DSW office

August 27: Locks broken, officials force their way in with police help, PU announces poll schedule

August 29: Nahar approaches Punjab and Haryana high court. Varsity put on notice

September 2: HC orders stay on the removal of Nahar

September 3: Nahar back in office

First Published: Sep 04, 2019 00:56 IST