The Punjab and Haryana High Court has come down heavily on Panjab University for failing to take remedial steps despite clear directions from the court. A penalty of Rs 50,000 has been slapped on the university,which will be deposited in the high courts mediation and conciliation centre.
The order was passed on the basis of a petition filed by DAV Colleges managing committee against the varsity. Imposing the penalty,Justice Mahesh Grover also set aside an order dated November 4,2009,by which the university had imposed a penalty of Rs 50,000 per month on the college for the period between August 30,2007 to July 13,2008 when the college had functioned without a principal.
The petitioner contended that the university had no authority to impose a penalty in financial terms. According to the petitioners counsel,the reason for not having a principal during the above mentioned period had been satisfactorily explained to the university.
The incumbent,Dr Bhupinder Singh,was recommended by the Selection Committee and approval regarding his appointment had been considered by the college managing committee.
However,majority of its members had not granted approval. This decision had been communicated to Panjab University as well. Choosing not to file a reply,the university tried to justify the imposition of the penalty by making submissions before the court.
However,Justice Grover asserted,It has been brought to the notice of this court that a similar controversy arising in number of writ petitions has since been answered by this court and it has been held that the university had no authority to impose penalty with financial consequences.
The order further read that Finding the matter is no longer res integra or entirely new or untouched; and despite the clear-cut verdict of this court,the respondent university took no remedial steps to rectify the order passed in the instant case,even when opportunity was given to the respondents to seek instructions from the varsity,which was met with the response that this court may pass an appropriate order,the petition is accepted with a cost of Rs 50,000.