Protesting in Gandhian manner,a top officer of Gujarat Vidyapith (GV),one of the key institutions founded by Mahatma Gandhi in Ahmedabad,has been giving honorary services as Registrar (in-charge) at Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University,an open university established by Gujarat government,for token monthly salary of Re 1 for the past around two years. He was served with a chargesheet by the GV authorities in number of service related matters and was denied any responsibility there.
The officer,Piyush Shah,worked as the Registrar (in-charge) of the GV at the relevant time and a legal battle on his dispute with the authorities is pending before the Gujarat High Court (HC).
Shah (48) was served with a chargesheet by GV authorities in around 2003-04 for his negligence in number of administration matters. Shah had challenged the action against him at a university services tribunal which gave a verdict in his favour. Against this,the GV authorities had moved the HC where the matter is pending. In March 2010,the HC granted Shah an interim relief and asked the GV authorities to pay him regular monthly salary before 10th of every month.
The GV authorities agreed to this but,refused to give any responsibility to Shah at the Vidyapith. When Shah insisted for work,the court suggested that he could provide his honorary services to any trust,NGO or public institution. Under this suggestion of the HC,Shah has been giving honorary services at BAOU in his capacity as Registrar (in-charge) for the past around two years.
I am drawing salary from the GV (for the post of deputy registrar) but,I also want to make sure that my abilities are used for the benefit of the society. You can also call this (giving honorary services at BAOU) my way of constructive protest against the GV authorities, said Shah sitting inside his chamber at BAOU on the Sarkhej-Gandhinagar Highway in Ahmedabad.
And I am taking token salary of Re 1 so that,I can be held accountable for each and every responsibility that I perform at the university, he added.
According to Shah,the post of Registrar was vacant at BAOU and so,he approached their authorities. And the BAOU authorities decided to give me responsibilities of Registrar (in-charge). The concerned board of BAOU passed a resolution in this regard to effect Shahs appointment.
On Shah giving honorary services at BAOU,GV Registrar Rajendra Khimani said,The HC ordered us to pay him regular monthly salary which we agreed but,we were not ready to give him any work as we did not trust him. So,the court suggested him to give honorary services as he was insisting for work.
Now,when he is giving honorary services at a particular place,its a matter between him and that organisation. I cannot comment on it, he added.