The Delhi High Court on Wednesday stayed the recruitment process of teachers for two posts in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) under the economically weaker section (EWS) category following a plea alleging that the reservation was not meant for faculty. Justice Suresh Kumar Kait sought response of the JNU on a plea by four aspirants challenging an advertisement issued by the varsity inviting applications for 97 positions of Assistant Professors, including 10 reserved under EWS quota.
The court stayed the recruitment process for two posts in two centres for which the four proposed applicants, including one Sona Mitra, had applied, and listed the matter for July 18.
While Mitra wished to apply for the post of Assistant Professor, Centre for Women’s Studies, School of Social Sciences, the other three petitioners wanted to apply for the post of Assistant Professor in International Organizations, CIPOD, School of International Studies.
The plea sought direction to the authorities to issue a fresh advertisement for the posts of assistant professors, without any Economically Weaker Section (EWS) reservation in it. It sought quashing of the minutes of 279th executive council meeting (emergency) held on April 3, to the extent that it renders the four petitioners and non-EWS category persons ineligible from applying to teaching posts.
Advocates Maanav Kumar and Nupur, representing the petitioners, said that by issuing the advertisement, the authorities have sought to illegally adopt and implement 10 per cent reservation for EWS in the recruitment of teachers, when the same is not applicable to the teachers’ cadre in the first place.
They said these four applicants were rendered ineligible and effectively stand debarred from applying for their desired posts as these have been reserved for persons belonging to EWS category.
The petition claimed that the advertisement and the minutes of meeting are “wholly illegal, arbitrary and mala fide, as they are ultra vires the Constitution” and have been issued without following the prescribed procedure and in contravention of the internal JNU Act, Statutes and Ordinances.
On March 29, the varsity published an advertisement inviting applications for 97 posts of assistant professors across multiple schools, centres and departments. Of these, 10 positions have been reserved for persons belonging to the EWS category. The last date for apply for these post is April 29.