TITLE: Manoj Kumar Verma v Management Board of Ansal Institute of Technology
CWP No. 27944 of 2013
CORAM: Hon’ble Justice Mr. Jaishree Thakur
INTRODUCTION- The accused/appellant was found guilty and sentenced to two and a half years of rigorous imprisonment for violating Section 17(b) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (the “NDPS Act”). The present appeal is directed against the judgement of conviction dated April 27, 2005, and order of sentence dated April 29, 2005, passed by the learned Special Judge, Rohtak. The sentences were set to run simultaneously.
FACTS OF THE CASE
The petitioner was hired by Ansal Institute of Technology, respondent No. 2 in this case (now merged with Sushant School of Architecture with effect from 2012 and renamed as Ansal University, impleaded as respondent No. 3), where his services were confirmed with effect from July 1, 2007, as Senior Lecturer-Mass Communications. Up until 01.02.2011, he continued to work for the Institute and was given additional duties as the course coordinator for the Post Graduate Diploma in Retail Management (PGDRM). He received a promotion to Assistant Professor in the School of Management on January 1, 2009. The petitioner received an increase based on his performance and annual evaluation on August 17, 2009, and another increase on December 27, 2010. On 08.02.2011, the petitioner was promoted to Assistant Dean (Marketing), receiving a monthly honorarium increase to Rs. 5,000 as of that date. On October 7, 2011, the petitioner left his job because he had jaundice and was supposed to stay in bed. He sent respondent No. 2 an email to properly inform him.When he returned to work on November 8, 2011, respondent No. 2 requested that he hand over his laptop and leave his cubicle. For the months of October 2011 to March 2012, his salary was withheld and paid later. The petitioner’s employment was terminated on March 19, 2012, due to a low student enrollment in the subject taught.
COURT ANALYSIS AND DECISION
The petitioner’s knowledgeable attorney will argue that the decision to terminate his employment is unlawful because Ansal University’s administration advertised the assistant professor position in management he was holding less than a month after his employment was terminated. The petitioner was qualified to teach for the position that had been advertised, it is argued. It was further argued that the respondent abolished the position in order to fire the petitioner from his or her position
Contrarily, knowledgeable counsel representing the respondents would contend that the petitioner in this case was appointed to the position of Senior Lecturer-Mass Communication with the Ansal Institute of Technology, Gurgaon, and that it was because of the post’s elimination that he was asserting that his services were terminated in accordance with the Institute’s Service Rules. The creation and administration of AIT were handled by the Chiranjiv Charitable Trust (abbreviated CCT), which was authorised by the Societies Registration Act. The Management Body of the respondent was permitted by Rule 20.2 of AIT to terminate the employment of any regular member of the staff, academic or non-academic, without cause or prior notice after giving one month’s notice or by paying one month’s salary in lieu of notice. The petitioner received a month’s notice before the services would end. The Institute had tried to accommodate him in another programme, the Post Graduate Diploma in Retail Management (PGDRM), but that programme has also been discontinued due to a low student intake, and since the subject was not being taught, his services were no longer needed. This was made clear in the notice that the programme under which the appointment had been made had been closed at the Institute. According to the aforementioned Section, the Board of Management has the authority to fire a teacher or other academic staff member for misconduct. According to Section 22(3) and (4) of the Act of 1988, the Board of Management is not permitted to fire a teacher, a member of the academic staff, or any other employee unless there is a justifiable reason for doing so and after giving the person concerned three months’ notice, with the additional condition that the person concerned be given a reasonable opportunity to object to the proposed action. “In case the petitioner seeks arrears of salary, the respondents would be at liberty to seek information on whether the petitioner had been gainfully employed during the pendency of these proceedings and take an appropriate decision. The entire exercise regarding entitlement of arrears of salary be completed expeditiously, preferably within a period of three months on the demand being made. Petition stands allowed accordingly”.
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Written by- Steffi Desousa