The Panjab University before the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday submitted that in case Vice-Chancellor and the Syndicate have a difference of view over the selection of Deans of Student Welfare, the matter will go to the Chancellor for a final decision, adding that the Senate cannot resolve a dispute.
During the resumed hearing of PU’s appeal against the single bench decision which restored Professor Emanual Nahar’s position as DSW earlier this month, the senior counsel representing the varsity argued that until and unless a unanimous decision is not arrived between the V-C and Syndicate, the Senate cannot take a call over DSW appointments.
The PU counsel on Monday mainly relied their arguments on Section 38 of University Calendar. The provision reads: “Disputes as to Constitution of the University.- If any question arises as to whether any person has been duly elected or appointed as, or is entitled to be a member of any authority or other body of the University, the matter will be referred to the Chancellor, whose decision thereon will be final”.
The Senate has no suo motu power and cannot do anything if there is no recommendation, submitted the PU as it reiterated its earlier argument that a consensus is required to be worked out between the V-C and Syndicate for a proposal on DSW appointments to go to Senate for a formal approval.
“Why only one person? Is there no one else,” submitted a counsel representing the PU, while referring to the continuous appointment of Professor Nahar as DSW since 2016. “These posts are for management and not academics.”
On Monday, the PU counsel concluded their main arguments in the appeal. In their arguments which remained inconclusive and will continue on Wednesday, the counsel representing Nahar submitted that Chancellor has no power under the Act and he has only the power to appoint the V-C. “The supreme authority shall lie in the Senate,” submitted a senior counsel representing Nahar while interpreting the PU Calendar.
The division bench of Justices Rakesh Kumar Jain and Arun Kumar Tyagi is currently hearing the PU appeal against a single bench decision and last week stayed that bench’s order which ordered the varsity to hold a Senate meeting for decision over a Syndicate recommendation pertaining to Professor Nahar’s extension as DSW.
The university had removed Professor Nahar and Professor Neena Caplash from their position of DSWs on August 22 while citing a purported Senate decision. Nahar and at least four Senators challenged the decision submitting that the majority of the members were in favour of the extension but Vice-Chancellor Raj Kumar closed the proceedings of Senate in haste and called for playing the national anthem, “with the objective of defeating the demand of voting”. The Senate “resolution” cited and produced later before court by the university was called into question.
The single-judge bench of Justice Arun Monga in an interim order on September 2 stayed the decision on removal of the DSWs and restored Nahar’s position while also calling for a Senate meet within a week. PU had earlier replaced DSW Nahar by an officiating DSW while citing the absence of V-C’s concurrence for the Syndicate recommendation which was to be decided by Senate on August 22. Since no voting was allowed, 48 members had passed a “resolution” and recommended Nahar’s extension as DSW. However, the university authorities disregarded it and gone ahead with new appointments in the interim.