NIKHILES GUHA Vs. UNIVERSITY OF KALYANI
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
UNIVERSITY OF KALYANI
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(1.) THE writ petitioner in this case is an academic and research scholar, and has served the University of Kalyani in the capacity of a professor of history since the year 1978. The petitioner claims to have been the head of the history department and also served as Chairman of the Undergraduate board of Studies as also the Post Graduate Board of Studies of the University in the past. He claims to be the author of several books and articles on indian history. In the writ petition, he has also highlighted several other achievements in his field of expertise.
(2.) THE petitioner was due to retire under the normal circumstances upon attaining the age of superannuation i. e. sixty years on 30th April, 2007. The dispute in the present writ petition is over his re-emptoyment in the same University, which is permissible under certain circumstances as per the regulation guiding the aspect of re-ernployrnent of a wholetime employee of the University. The relevant regulation appears to be University Ordinance 16 (USC), as described in the affidavit-in-opposition of the university authorities. I shall refer to the text, of the material portion of this ordinance in the later part of this judgment. It is the case of the petitioner that the university authorities had on their own invited from him an application for re-employment by a communication of the Deputy Registrar of the University issued on 30th November, 2006. The petitioner accordingly made the application. The petitioner however, was given re-employment for only one month, with effect from 1st May, 2007. The petitioner thereafter sent a notice to the Vice-Chancellor of the University on 29th May, 2007 through his learned Advocate pointing out thai his re-employment was contrary to the provisions of the University Ordinance. Under the provisions of the ordinance, re-employment can be made for a period of two years. It is the petitioner's contention that since the ordinance stipulates re-employment for a period of two years, the University authorities having decided on re-employment of the petitioner cannot re-employ him only for a month. The relevant provision of the Ordinance has been reproduced in the affidavit-in-opposition filed on behalf of the University, and the same is set out below:-
"retirement and reemployment,- U. ord. 16 (Use): (1) A whole-time employee of the University shall retire from service with effect from the afternoon of the last day of the month in which he. attains the age of superannuation, i. e. completes 60 years of age.
(2) Subject to the provision of retirement under paragraph (1), the executive council may grant re-employment to a talented teacher of the University for a limited power beyond the age of 60 years considering his academic activities, particularly during the last 5 years preceding the date of his superannuation, supported by relevant documents; and on receipt of such documents the Executive council shall form a Screening Committee consisting of the following members to consider the relevant documents and the service records of the teacher concerned; (a) The Vice-chancellor; (b) The Dean of the Faculty Council for Post-graduate and undergraduate studies concerned, (c) An expert in the field of specialisation of the teacher concerned, to be nominated by the Chancellor, and (d) Two experts in the field of specialisation of the teacher concerned to be nominated by the Executive Council,
(3) Three members, of whom at least two shall be experts in the field of said specialisation, shall form quorum for a meeting of a screening Committee ; provided that:- (i) Such re-employment shall initially be for a period of two years and subsequently for further period not exceeding one year, and in no case such re-employment shall be given if the teacher concerned has attained 65 years of age. (ii) The recommendations of the Screening Committee regarding reemployment shall be made on the basis of the performance of the teacher concerned as a teacher and/or quality of research papers or books written by him. The recommendations should also justify that he cannot be suitably replaced immediately or his continued availability will be indispensable. (iii) Re-employment shall not be offered as a matter of course but only in exceptional cases with sufficient justification as indicated in clauses (ii) and subject to any law in force.
(4) A teacher of the University may be granted re-employment after his retirement if he is physically fit and mentally alert subject to the provisions paragraphs (1) and (2);
(5) Pay of a teacher of the University on re-employment granted under paragraph (2) shall be fixed in accordance with the normal rules applicable to an employee of the State Government under which such Pay plus pension and other benefits do not exceed the last pay drawn at any stage ;"
(3.) BY a communication dated 31st May, 2007, the university authority informed the petitioner that the executive council of the Kalyani in its meeting held on 31st May, 2007 had resolved not to extend the benefit of re-employment to the petitioner with effect from 1st June, 2007. It is this decision which is under challenge in the present writ petition.;
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