The Delhi High Court has directed the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) not to make any appointment for two posts, professor and associate professor, which has been challenged by some of the faculty members.
The court was dealing with a plea filed on behalf of two assistant professors, claiming that they were proposing to apply for the vacancies under reserved category but the university has converted one of the post from SC to ST category while the other post was de-reserved.
A bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh was hearing an appeal against an interlocutory order of a single judge, who did not grant stay on the appointments.
The bench asked the JNU not to make any appointments for the posts.
In order to avoid rendering the petition infructuous, the division bench also requested the single judge, who had earlier sought response of the varsity on the petition, to advance the date fixed for hearing from October 7 to August 31, and commence hearing the plea from that date itself without granting any unwarranted adjournments to the parties.
It also directed the university to file its counter affidavit to the petition within two weeks and the two teachers can file their rejoinder within one week thereafter.
Senior advocate Akhil Sibal, representing the two teachers, stated that in the earlier advertisement issued by the JNU in 2017 certain posts were reserved, they were shown in the altered categories - scheduled tribes (ST) and unreserved - in last year's ad, which is being challenged.
He further said that the executive council (EC) of the university was scheduled to meet in the next couple of days for making the appointments and if they are made, the petition may be rendered infructuous.
The plea, filed through advocates Maanav Kumar, Roshni Namboodiry and Nupur, have challenged two ads issued by the varsity on August 19, 2019.
It said the university published a statement on its website that there were 91 vacancies existing in SC/ST categories in the professor and associate professor cadre and against this only 57 have been advertised.
It said the first teacher, Pradeep Shinde who is an assistant professor of sociology at the Centre for Informal Sector and Labour Studies in School of Social Sciences, was proposing to apply for the post of associate professor in the same centre which was earlier reserved for scheduled caste (SC) candidates but has not been converted into an ST post.
The second teacher, Tsetan Namgyal, who is assistant professor at the Centre for Inner Asian Studies (Tibetian and Himalayan Studies) at School of International Studies, was desirous of applying for the post of professor which was reserved for ST candidates but it has not been de-reserved and converted to an unreserved post.
According to the petitioners, they are eligible for consideration against these reserved posts, respectively, according to the roster points and this action has adversely affected their consideration.
Before the single judge, advocate Monika Arora, appearing for JNU, had accepted the notice and submitted that the action of the university with regard to the reservation roster, is in accordance with a 2017 judgement of the Allahabad High Court.
JNU was also directed to explain in the counter affidavit as to how the roster was being operated by it for the posts in question, prior to the judgement of the Allahabad High Court, as also the methodology of applying the roster post the judgement.