New Delhi : The Delhi High Court has dismissed Jamia Millia Islamia’s plea seeking a direction to the University Grants Commission (UGC) to release funds for the Sarojini Naidu Center for Women’s Studies. The High Court has said that Jamia cannot take the shield of the court to get funds from the UGC. The court passed this oral order while hearing an application filed by Jamia in connection with a pending petition by a professor working as the director of Sarojini Naidu Center for Women’s Studies, seeking payment of his salary. Jamia had filed the application contending that the salary of the professor could not be paid due to the UGC not providing assistance under the regular budget or the scheme of ‘Development of Women’s Studies in Indian Universities’.
The university had appealed to the High Court to direct the commission to release the grant and clear the outstanding amount of Rs.6 crore under the scheme. However, the High Court questioned that when all other officials including the Vice-Chancellor and Registrar of the University are getting salary, then why not the concerned teacher?
The court said you sell your property and pay the money. You cannot take the shield of the court to take money from UGC. Ask your Vice-Chancellor and Registrar to withhold their salary and pay to the teacher concerned. A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramanian Prasad said that you have money to pay salaries to all other officers, but for the sake of the concerned teacher, you want us to give directions to the UGC. The vice-chancellor and the registrar are getting salary, but not the poor teacher.
Jamia’s standing counsel Pritish Sabharwal argued that the center belongs to the UGC and the university is running it under the scheme of the UGC. He said the UGC had sent a letter to the university for the merger of the center and not the teaching posts. Funds for teachers’ salaries have to come from the UGC, which has stopped releasing grants.
The bench said that the university had said in the last hearing that it would pay all dues to the professor. The bench said that the court had accepted Jamia’s assurance and said that the salary would continue to be paid to the professor on monthly basis at the stipulated time. During the hearing held on July 6, to a specific question asked by the court whether the Vice Chancellor, Registrar and other teachers were getting salaries, the counsel for the university had replied in the affirmative.
The High Court dismissed the petition holding that the application was nothing but an attempt to set aside the previous order, which was a consent order. We do not see any reason to consider the application. Hence it is rejected.