Education Minister and Chief Minister had approved decision taken by Vigilance Dept
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has expressed strong disapproval of the manner in which the Punjab government had taken the decision to drop all criminal proceedings against former Vice Chancellor of Punjabi University,S S Boparai.
The disapproval was expressed during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Santosh Kumari and others seeking issuance of directions to the Punjabi University,Patiala to make fresh selections and appointments to various posts in Punjabi University,which have been occupied by backdoor appointees,engaged on adhoc and contract basis,allegedly during the tenure of former Vice Chancellor,S S Boparia and the present Vice Chancellor,Dr Jaspal Singh.
The High Court also asked the Punjab law officer to scan through relevant records and make his own objective submissions before the Court.
The Bench also referred to a report by the SSP,Vigilance Bureau,Patiala dated November 16,2007 wherein he had recommended for registration of a criminal case against Boparai and his associates; and in the aforesaid enquiry report,the SSP,VB Patiala had severely indicted S S Boparia for various acts,including making the backdoor appointments.
However,the Vigilance Bureau referred the matter to the Administrative Department of Higher Education,Punjab for taking decision in the matter. The Department of Higher Education,sought some information from Punjabi University,Patiala,and on the basis of said information received by the Department of Higher Education,the Additional Secretary,Vigilance concluded that no criminal offence is made out against Boparai.
The division bench orally expressed its disapproval that while former Vice Chancellor had made 418 back-door appointments,the present Vice Chancellor has excelled him in the matter by making 502 such appointments.
The Bench also remarked that it had gone through the noting sheets in the related file and noticed that the matter has been sent to the Governor,of Punjab,in his capacity as Chancellor of Punjabi University,Patiala,and in the reference made to the Governor,the Administrative Department has apprised the Governor of the decision dated March 12,2010,taken by Vigilance Department to drop criminal proceedings against Boparai,a decision which also stood approved by the Education Minister as well as the Chief Minister.
In a terse order,the Bench observed that while no fetters can be put on the power of the Governor to take any decision in the matter,yet any such decision or order cannot come in the way of the High Court in taking its own independent decision,since the High Court is seized of the matter.
At this stage,Punjab law officer requested the Bench to give him time for few days to enable him to scan through the files and to make his own objective submissions before the Bench thereafter. The matter shall now come up for further hearing before the High Court on April 17.