No relief from high court to Punjabi University professors’ on re-employment plea

Punjabi University, Patiala.

With the Punjab and Haryana high court not giving any relief and fixing July 2 as the next date of hearing on a petition by Punjabi University professors seeking re-employment till the age of 65, these teachers will now retire on June 30 after having turned 60.

The petitioners had sought a stay on the scrapping of the re-employment scheme, a decision the university had taken with effect from April 1, 2017, claiming that it was not a unanimous decision of the varsity syndicate.

The university has claimed that the decision to scrap re-employment was taken on directions from the Punjab government that funds it. It added that it had adopted a state government letter that said, “The University will not re-employ any teaching or non-teaching employee/professors who have already retired on last pay drawn principle against government guidelines and will replace them with new recruitments at a lower salary after following procedure. This shall be made effective from April 1, 2017.”

Incidentally, non-teaching employees had been opposing re-employment and had even approached the HC to cancel re-employment of teachers and non-teaching staff.

The petition

In the petition from Sansar Singh Janjua and others against the varsity decision, counsel for the petitioners submitted that a committee of three members had been formed to look into the solution over the issue and thus they should be re-employed. The counsel for the petitioners said the decision to re-employ retired professors was taken by the Syndicate of the respondent University on March 31, 2017, to secure the future of 388 research scholars.

During the hearing, Punjabi University reiterated that it had scrapped the re-employment scheme, and after that two batches of teachers had retired in June and December 2017.

Ravi Kumar of Hindi department; Sansar Singh of Political Science; Dean, colleges, Kulbir Singh Dhillon of History; Satbir Kaur of Human Genetics; Navjot Kaur Kasel of Music; Gurnaib Singh of Punjabi Literary Studies; Rabinder Powar of English; and Jasvir Kaur and Baljit Kaur Sekhon of Development of Punjabi Language, will now retire on June 30.

Meanwhile, the ad hoc committee of non-teaching employees has hailed the University’s reply in court. It added that there was no need for re-employment and that the University should hire new teachers as the Punjab government had advised.

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