A chargesheet, its stay and the continued harassment of teachers by the JNU administration

The JNUTA expresses its outrage and indignation at the way the JNU Administration continues to harass and intimidate faculty colleagues who had been illegally chargesheeted by the previous Vice Chancellor, Prof. M. Jagadesh Kumar in 2018 invoking the CCS(CCA) rules. The latest as JNUTA has learnt yesterday, is regarding the ‘No Objection Certificate’ that is required for the application of renewal of passports. A chargesheeted teacher has been issued an NOC that, even as it states that the university has no objection to the faculty member acquiring a new passport, also records that the colleague in question has “participated in one day strike called by JNUTA on 31.01.2019 and was charge-sheeted under major penalty and the matter is sub-judice”.

It will be recalled that the operation of the said chargesheet and show cause notice issued to the faculty colleagues was stayed by a Single Bench of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court (DHC) on 14.08.2019. This stay order has since then been upheld by the Division Bench of the DHC (on 30.09.2019), even though the University had assailed it in a petition. Further, several petitions filed by faculty colleagues who have been unjustly denied pensionary benefits have been successful in getting the respective teachers’ leave encashment released, payable at 9% interest. Despite the fact that such payments of a high interest rate costs a cash-strapped university dearly, the functioning of the current JNU administration seems indistinguishable from that of the previous one, uncaring of the disapproval of the DHC.

As anyone who has applied for a passport renewal is aware, the proforma for NOC is provided by the Passport Office itself, and it does not require the reporting of any domestic inquiry proceedings, pending or completed, against the employee (see attached screenshot). The goal of the inclusion of this sentence, we believe, is chiefly to mark out the faculty colleague as ‘suspect’, by intentionally providing partial information—the fact that the major penalty proceedings have been found to be prima facie unlawful and therefore stayed by the DHC is not mentioned.

The JNUTA is appalled at this viciousness, as it seeks to escalate a university-level dispute to a level in which the colleague’s rights as a citizen may be affected and/or compromised. The JNUTA demands that the NOC issued to the colleague in question be immediately reissued using the terms of reference and language mandated by the Passport Office.

It is a matter of grave concern that, contrary to the oral assurances that the JNUTA has received from the present VC, the harassment of faculty on the basis of the stayed chargesheet has continued. Furthermore, there are signs of differential and discriminatory treatment being meted out amongst the chargesheeted faculty. What is additionally troubling is that on two occasions now, two JNUTA EC members, who are also chargesheeted, were treated differently from the other chargesheeted colleagues. In the first instance, the NOC issued to a JNUTA EC member did not make any mention of the chargesheet. In the case of a Duty Leave application, while the application of a JNUTA EC member was processed as per norms, two other chargesheeted colleagues were forced to threaten legal action before they received their leave orders to attend the same conference. The JNUTA strongly condemns this naked effort to sow division amongst the teachers. The only special qualification that membership of the JNUTA EC confers on any teacher is an opportunity to shoulder the responsibility of fighting the collective fight for the rights and the dignity of all teachers of the university

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