No HC relief for FTII staff suspended for criticising govt, BJP
The Bombay high court (HC) on Thursday refused to interfere with the suspension of a faculty member of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Indranil Bhattacharya.
Disciplinary proceedings were initiated against Bhattacharya for posting on Facebook messages criticising the Modi government and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
A division bench of justice SC Dharmadhikari and justice GS Patel did not intervene, primarily in view of the fact that he had not been given a charge sheet and an inquiry officer, who will conduct disciplinary proceedings in two of the three charges against him, was yet to be appointed.
In his petition, Bhattacharya contended the vindictive action started after he lodged a complaint with the chief vigilance commissioner with regard to the functioning of the institute.
He was served three show-cause notices in May and June 2019, one of which specifically “charged” him with posting messages on Facebook, criticising the Centre and the party in power, BJP.
His counsel, advocate Sunil Sen, on Thursday pointed out that the Facebook account was private. The faculty member sought information under the Right to Information Act, seeking to know how the institute learned about his private posts.
Sen said the notices sought to curtail his fundamental freedom of speech and expression.
He alleged the government was encroaching upon his freedom by interfering with his private communication and intercepting it.
He further contended the notices were issued on the presumption that a government employee cannot criticise the policies and programmes of the government and its functionaries.
Sen urged the court to stay the suspension on the grounds that he would be deprived of salary. But the bench said he will continue to get subsistence allowance. It has, however, granted Bhattacharya liberty to apply for interim relief, once the charge sheet is served and inquiry officer is appointed.
Chief minister Jai Ram Thakur on Monday laid foundation stones of projects worth ₹112 crore in Bilaspur district on Monday. Addressing a meeting at Ghawandal Chowk, the CM announced that a government degree college will be opened at Swarghat in Naina Devi assembly segment. The CM said the government will take over Shakti Senior Secondary School, Naina Devi and open a Primary Education Block office in Naina Devi.
With the monsoon likely to hit Himachal Pradesh on Tuesday, the Indian Meteorological Department has issued a four-day yellow alert for heavy rainfall coupled with thunderstorms in 10 districts of the state, barring Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti. Shimla meteorological centre director Surender Paul said, “Thunderstorms accompanied by lightning and gusty winds blowing at a speed of 30- 40km/hr are expected in the hill state between June 28 and July 1.”
From history sheeters to an engineer, cricket organiser, transporter, railway clerk, and income tax officer around 171 people from different walks of life have been arrested in the Himachal Pradesh constable recruitment case so far, officials said on Monday. Director general of police Sanjay Kundu said the 171 persons arrested include 116 candidates, fathers of nine candidates, and 46 agents, of which 21 were from the hill state, while 25 were from other states.
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A 55-year-old man became the latest victim of Covid-19 in Mohali on Monday, even as tricity's active cases once again crossed the 1000 mark after over four months. The deceased patient, a resident of Kakoli Chhat, Mohali, was also suffering from sepsis and died at the civil hospital in Phase 6. Amid the rising cases, this was the third Covid death in Mohali district in the past 15 days.