The Jawaharlal Nehru University has initiated disciplinary action against 48 teachers for participating in a day-long strike in July last year. The proceedings were initiated under the Central Civil Services (CCS) Rules, which are applicable to government servants.
The teachers — who participated in a strike called by the JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) against alleged “violation” of reservation policies, “arbitrary” removal of deans and chairpersons, the tripartite MoU with UGC and MHRD, among other things — have been issued a “memorandum” signed by the Vice-Chancellor himself.
Last year, showcause notices were issued to teachers for the same. The matter also came up in the Executive Council meeting held in June this year, post which the JNUTA had written to EC members to revisit their decision.
The memorandum, dated July 24, invokes the CCS Rules, which state, “No government servant shall resort to or in any way abet any form of strike or coercion or physical duress in connection with any matter pertaining to his service or the service of any other Government servant.” The charges have been framed using video footage from the security department as well as a report submitted by them.
It also cites a circular issued by the Registrar dated July 27, 2018 which warned against the strike. The 48 teachers include current and former JNUTA office bearers.
Despite the circular, it said the teachers participated in the strike “with other faculties (against whom action is also being taken separately) which was in clear violation of the Rules and Regulations of the university and also contempt of the directions of the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi…”
The faculty members were “directed to submit a written statement of defence within 15 days of the receipt of this Memorandum” and to state whether they “desire to be heard in person” and that failure to do so would result in an ‘ex parte’ inquiry.
The JNUTA general body meeting (GBM) on Thursday spoke out against the move:“The GBM would like to point out JNU is an autonomous body… and teachers are not government servants as defined under CCS (Conduct) Rules, 1964…The University is not an authority empowered to impose such restraints on anyone, especially the teachers…”
The JNU V-C, Registrar and Rector did not respond to calls and texts by The Indian Express.