By: Aranya Shankar
Less than a month after dismissing two teachers, Hindu College has landed itself in another controversy. On Friday evening, the college governing body decided to penalise seven teachers for writing to the Lieutenant-Governor last year, alleging irregularities in the construction of a girls’ hostel.
“We have given them minor punishment for defaming the college and bringing harm to its name. The seven teachers will be subjected to annual increment cuts for two years and will be barred from any administrative role for five years,” governing body chairman S N P Punj said.
In March 2014, seven teachers — Atul Gupta, Ish Mishra, P K Vijayan, Poonam Sethi, Ratan Lal, Rajesh Kumar and Sachin Vashistha — had written to L-G Najeeb Jung, alleging irregularities in the construction of a girls’ hostel.
The L-G was the chief guest at the function to lay the foundation stone for the hostel. In the letter, the teachers alleged that the governing body had begun construction despite the proposal being rejected by the municipal corporation. They also alleged that the college had not sought clearances from agencies like the National Green Tribunal and the Delhi Jal Board.
“Two weeks after we sent the letter, we received a showcause notice. Thereafter, an inquiry committee was set up, which found us “guilty of gross misconduct” and of bringing disrepute to the college. Now this penalty has been slapped on us. I want to know what wrong we committed. This decision is going to result in a huge financial loss to us,” P K Vijayan said.
“I requested for some dilution in punishment because I thought it would be perceived as a severe step,” Hindu
College principal Anju Srivastava said.
The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) has opposed the decision. In a statement, DUTA has asked the Visitor to intervene, stating that “the decision shows that the college is being held hostage by a vindictive management that will not tolerate any questioning of its dubious functioning”.