Campus Connect: Bombay high court’s order puts end to Pune STES controversy

While protesting teachers are happy with the instruction of the court to clear pending salaries, students and parents are happy too with the teachers’ promise of resuming classes.

pune Updated: Mar 09, 2018 15:22 IST
Parth Welankar
Parth Welankar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Bombay high court asked the Social Welfare Department (SWD) to immediately release the amount of Rs 117 crore to Sinhgad Technical Education Society (STES ) which in turn will clear pending salaries of faculty members. (HT PHOTO)

Following the Bombay high court directions, bench lead by justice RV More and justice SS Jadhav have asked the Social Welfare Department (SWD) to immediately release the amount of Rs 117 crore to Sinhgad Technical Education Society (STES ) which in turn will clear pending salaries of faculty members, the teachers and students have expressed a sigh of relief.

The teaching and non-teaching staff at various colleges being run by STES took a non-cooperative stand against the society’s management after they failed to comply with their ultimatum to pay salaries pending for the past 16 months. The staffs have been on strike since December 18, 2017.

Bombay high court on Thursday ordered the SWD to do away with the long-pending salaries of the STES teaching staff and in return have asked the teachers to immediately resume classes.

Expressing her gratitude towards the high court orders, Manisha Phauzdar, faculty at Sinhgad Pharmacy College said, “We welcome the decision of the high court. We are happy and satisfied that eventually after a prolonged fight for our justice; finally, someone has taken a serious cognizance of our demands.”

“Abiding by the court’s order we will immediately resume to teaching. With this interim relief by the high court, our battle is half won” added Phauzdar.

Makrand Injal, protesting faculty member of Sinhgad Technical Education Society (STES) said, “If the court has ordered us to resume, we are left with no option but to resume the classes.

However, we are happy that the court has also directed the Social Welfare Department to do away with the payments of Rs 117 crore”.

Professor Jagdale from STES welcoming the court’s decision said, “We will resume the classes with immediate effect. However, if the STES managementagain betrays us and disobey the court’s order we will restart our strike with complete force.”

While the tussle between the faculty members and the Sinhgad management had escalated, students, as well as parents, had joined the teachers in their fight against the college management.

Advocate Ramesh Dharmavat, a parent of a final year pharmacy student, said “We are extremely happy and satisfied that the teachers have decided to resume the classes.”

Anjali Joshi, parent of first-year engineering student said, “With the teachers resuming the classes, the entire academic year of our children’s will be saved. We are extremely thankful to the teachers for being equally concerned about the future of our children”.

Sitaram Gosawi, a fourth-year engineering student of a mechanical branch from Lonavala campus of Sinhgad Institutes who had sat on fast unto death said, “We are happy that the classes will be resumed immediately. While we accept and welcome the court’s decision, we reiterate our firm support to all the teachers in future as well.”

While the official management of STES have refused to comment on the high court’s decision saying that the matter is still in the court, parents and teachers have expressed a sigh of relief on the court’s order on Thursday.

First Published: Mar 09, 2018 14:44 IST