In a major setback to the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration, the Delhi High Court has directed the varsity to appoint a professor from the Linguistic Centre as the Chairman.
The varsity had earlier appointed a professor from the Persian Centre as the Chairperson of the Linguistic Centre. Though, the said centre falls under the same school (School of Language), according to law, the chairperson of a certain Centre should be a professor from the same Centre and the appointment is done on the basis of seniority.
A single judge bench of the high court presided by Justice Suresh Kumar Kait directed the varsity to appoint a chairperson in Linguistic Centre from within the same centre.
"I hereby direct the Executive Council to appoint Chairperson from the Linguistic Centre itself in accordance with practice and the law," the court ruled.
The court was hearing a petition filed by varsity's professor Ayesha Kidwai seeking the court's direction to JNU to appoint a Chairperson to the Centre based on the rule of rotation by choosing from the professors/senior fellows of the Centre itself.
The plea also sought quashing of an order of the Vice Chancellor by which Professor Mazhar Asif was appointed as Chairperson of the Linguistics Centre.
Asif is a professor of the Persian Centre and is the dean of School of Languages under which the said centres fall.
Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) President N. Sai Balaji, said: "The Vice Chancellor is shameless, he is continuously trying to perpetuate illegality in the campus through his institutions. Time and again his unlawful decisions are being scrapped by the courts but he has no respect for the courts and the rule of law."
The university's administration responding on the order of the high court said that that the concerned appointment was "temporary".
"The appointment was interim and was done on a temporary basis but people moved the High Court against the same. It is not illegal," Pramod Kumar, Registrar, JNU said.