The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday stayed the suspension of Professor Raghuram Rao Akkinepally, Director of the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), Mohali.
The order was passed by the division bench of Chief Justice Krishna Murari and Justice Arun Palli after consecutive hearings of the case on Wednesday and Thursday. A single bench had earlier on September 27 refused to grant a stay against Raghuram’s suspension while issuing notice in the case to the NIPER Board of Governors and its Chairman. Raghuram had been suspended on September 24 by the Board of Governors.
Raghuram, in the plea filed through advocate Arun Gupta, said the Board cannot exercise such powers and the suspension could have been ordered only with the approval of the Visitor, the President of India, as he is the appointing authority under the NIPER Act.
Alleging that the Chairman of the Board of Governors had acted in a “grossly unfair and illegal manner,” Raghuram in the plea further stated that the chairman has been inimical to him since he had passed the order of suspension of the NIPER Registrar in July.
The order passed by Raghuram, however, had been set aside by the chairman leading to litigations before the High Court.
Raghuram also told the court that the order for his suspension flouted the NIPER rules as no opportunity of hearing was afforded to him by the Board of Governors and it was a result of the Chairman’s bias against him for his stand in the recent case before the High Court. The mandatory three-week notice was also not issued to him before the decision against him, the court was told.
The next date of hearing in the case is on October 30.