Senate polls: HC fines Panjab University ₹50,000 for delay in response to ex-senators’ plea
The Punjab and Haryana high court has imposed a penalty of ₹50,000 on Panjab University for failing to file its reply to a petition challenging deferral of the senate elections.
“One last and final opportunity is granted subject to payment of costs of ₹50,000, and will be a pre-condition,” read the order issued by justice Fateh Deep Singh on Wednesday, while deferring the matter to January 15.
The court directions came on the petition by seven former Panjab University (PU) senators, seeking directions for continuation of the present varsity governing bodies, including the senate and syndicate, till their elections were held.
The former senators had moved court on December 22 last year, seeking its urgent intervention, stating that in the absence of the senate and syndicate, there will be no administrative body left for decision-making and the varsity administration will “collapse”.
The term of the senate, the apex governing body of PU, ended on October 31, and the syndicate’s term got over on December 31. But, the varsity deferred the senate elections twice in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. Members of the syndicate, which is the varsity’s executive body, are elected from among the senators.
In their December-22 plea, the petitioners had demanded holding of senate polls and quashing of the varsity vice-chancellor’s orders deferring the elections indefinitely.
They had alleged that the political party at the Centre and people affiliated with it were deliberately delaying the polls. It was also demanded to examine whether the V-C could defer the elections of the senate without approval of the syndicate.