Skip to main content

Arbitrary, vindictive? There is no ground for disciplinary action against Saibaba: DUTA

Counterview Desk

Objecting to the termination of top human rights leader Dr GN Saibaba's services, the DelhiUniversity Teachers' Association (DUTA), in a representation Prof PC Joshi, acting vice-chancellor of the University of Delhi, even as appealing to review disciplinary action against him, has said that the Ram Lal Anand College, where he serves as associate professor, or its Governing Gody, has "never made out a case for disciplinary action" independent of the criminal case filed against him.
Drawing a parallel, the letter, signed by DUTA president Rajib Ray, cites the case of Dr SAR Geelani, associate professor, Zakir Husain College (E), Delhi University, who was an accused in the Parliament attack case in 2001." Though Dr Geelani was "suspended after his arrested in the Parliament attack case", his services "were not terminated despite conviction and award of death penalty by the Trial Court." In fact, Dr Geelani "remained under suspension and was reinstated upon his acquittal by the High Court."

Excerpts:

As you may be aware, our colleague Dr GN Saibaba (assistant professor, Department of English, Ram Lal Anand College [RLA], University of Delhi), wa arrested in the year 2014 by the Maharashtra Police and was kept in Nagpur Central Jail as under trial prisoner for 14 months. Later, he got bail from Mumbai High Court and also from the Supreme Court.
Subsequently, in March 2017, he was given life sentence by Gadchiroli Sessions Court and sent to Nagpur Central Jail. Dr Saibaba is completely paralysed with 95% physical disability from childhood andbound to a wheelchair.
Thereafter, his appeal against the judgment and sentence has been admitted in the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court, and the date for hearing is awaited. Dr Saibaba's wife, AS Vasantha, had submitted a representation to the DUTA stating that there is a very strong likelihood that the High Court acquits Dr Saibaba given the flimsiness of the charges and the nature of the evidence against him. DUTA had attached this representation in its appeal to the then Vice Chancellor dated July 3, 2018. 
A copy of the letter dated September14, 2017 submitted to the principal of RLA in this regard by the RLA Staff Association was also attached to our appeal.
In the meantime, the College Governing Body had constituted a four-member enquiry committee from within the Governing Body, and began proceedings towards terminating Dr Saibaba’s services. Much correspondence was exchanged between Vasantha and the RLA College.
On June 26, 2019, deputy registrar SK Dogra, wrote to the chairman, Governing Body, RLA College, via letter no CS-SDC/149/2019/724 as follows:
“I am directed to inform you that as per the advice of the Legal Council of the University of Delhi on the subject cited above, the College is requested to send another show cause notice to the charged teacher Dr Saibaba for the quantum of punishment to be imposed by the Governing Body of the College."
In the last letter written by Vasantha to RLA College dated November 28, 2020, she had explained that due to Covid lockdown jail visits to Dr Saibaba were extremely restricted, as a result of which, and also because of his ill-health, no instructions could be taken from him regarding response to the last show cause notice. No reply to this letter was received by Vasantha from the RLA College.
On April 1, 2021, Vasantha received a memorandum and a letter addressed to Dr Saibaba dated March 31, 2021 from the principal, RLA College, stating that Dr Saibaba’s services had been terminated wef March 31, 2021.
This letter came as a shock since the decision of termination seems to have been taken without even waiting for the reply of Dr Saibaba to the show cause notice served on him by the college on the instruction of the University conveyed vide letter dated June 26, 2019.
If the University has approved of the decision of the Governing Body, it seems to be in contradiction to its own explicit instruction of issuing fresh show cause notice to Dr Saibaba. Once the show cause was issued, the college should have waited for the reply before taking adverse action in the matter.
Dr Saibaba's appeal before the High Court has been admitted and listed for hearing, the matter is sub judice
The decision to terminate his services without waiting for his reply, when he is unable to respond because of prison lockdown conditions and extreme ill-health (that includes testing positive for Covid along with other life-threatening ailments) seems arbitrary, vindictive and against the principles of natural justice.
We wish to reiterate that since Dr Saibaba's appeal before the High Court has been admitted and listed for hearing, the matter is sub judice and the original proceedings are continuing, the case against him cannot be regarded as final until all appellate remedies are exhausted. We, therefore, request you once again to review and withdraw any action taken against Dr Saibaba and not to take any further action against him until his appeal is heard and decided.
It is pertinent to note that at the time of his initial suspension, and even subsequently, the RLA College or its Governing Body never made out a case for disciplinary action against Dr Saibaba independent of the criminal case filed by Maharashtra Police against him. Throughout the pendency of the case against him as well as the time that he was under incarceration as an under trial or on bail, the college did not have any case of disciplinary action against him.
Please also note that in case of Dr SAR Geelani, associate professor, Zakir Husain College (E), Delhi University, who was an accused in the Parliament attack case in 2001, Dr Geelani was suspended after his arrested in the Parliament attack case and his services were not terminated despite conviction and award of death penalty by the Trial Court. He remained under suspension and was reinstated upon his acquittal by the High Court. 
It is submitted that, similarly, any action against Dr Saibaba should await the final decision of the Hon’ble High Court in the matter of his appeal.

Comments

TRENDING

Tracing roots of Hindutva Zionism: cannon fodder for 'warped' nationalist pretensions

By Shamsul Islam*  Those who believe in a world free of hegemonic ethno-nationalism, racism, religious bigotry and hatred have rightly taken note of Zionism and its ally Christian Zionism, major perpetrators of ethnic cleansing of ‘Others’. However, the civilized world with its core belief in multi-culturalism and peaceful co-existence is oblivious to a no less dangerous threat to the present human civilization: the Hindutva Zionism. As the term reads it is part of the Hindutva world-view which stands for an exclusive Hindu India minus Muslims and Christians. The other religions like Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism will have no independent status but treated as part of Hinduism. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS; National Volunteer Organization) is the most prominent flag-bearer of the Hindutva politics whose cadres presently rule India, the largest democracy in the world. RSS was founded by Keshav Baliram Hedgewar (1889-1940) in 1925 who was disillusioned with the Indian freedom st

Regional parties, anti-Congress progressives, civil society groups 'joining' Bharat Jodo

By Harshavardhan Purandare, Sandeep Pandey*  The Congress party declared Bharat Chhodo (Quit India) movement against the British regime in 1942. The Congress party has now launched a movement Bharat Jodo (Connecting and Uniting India) against the Modi regime in 2022. Indian people have had a journey of 80 years since Mahatma Gandhi gave that Quit India call to the British and we have to agree that we stand most divided in our modern history when Rahul Gandhi is giving this Bharat Jodo call to the nation. And back then, Congress was a thriving idealistic political movement against the British rulers and now it is an ever weakening political organization electorally defeated several times. However, it is India at stake, not just the Congress party. That is why so many regional political parties, civil society organizations, traditional anti-Congress progressive forces like socialists and communists, intellectuals and civil servants have declared their support and are proactively partici

Shocking? No Covid vaccine trials conducted on pregnant, lactating women: RTI reply

By Rosamma Thomas*  A Right to Information applicant who sought details of safety trials conducted in India on pregnant and lactating women for three Covid vaccines in use in India – Covishield, Covaxin and ZyCov-D -- was shocked to learn from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) that Serum Institute, manufacturer of Covishield, and Cadila Healthcare, manufacturer of the ZyCov-D vaccine, had not sought permission for such trials.  Bharat Biotech, manufacturer of Covaxin, had sought permission for trial on pregnant women and later withdrawn its application. This response , provided after the applicant was initially unsatisfied with the response and went in appeal, is from the joint drugs controller, CDSCO. It was dated September 13, 2022. One researcher closely following the vaccine rollout, however, is of the opinion that the lack of a trial on pregnant and lactating women is a blessing; potential trial participants and their unborn babies thus escaped harm. Aruna Ro

Grave error? Scholar blames ex-Gujarat babu for anti-Christian riots 'citing fake report'

By Rajiv Shah  A few days back, I received a message from one of the finest former Gujarat government bureaucrats, PG Ramrakhiani, a 1964 batch IAS official, who retired in November 2000. I would often interact with him in 1997-99, even later, after I was sent to Gandhinagar as a Times of India man to cover Sachivalaya. Those were turbulent times. Shankarsinh Vaghela was the Gujarat chief minister, under attack from two sides – from the BJP, which he had left to form a separate breakaway party, Rashtriya Janata Party (RJP), one one hand, and the Congress, which was supporting him from outside, on the other. Ramrakhiani, in his message, referred to the book authored by Ghanshyam Shah and Jan Breman, both top-notch scholars who have known Gujarat in and out. Called “Gujarat, Cradle and Harbinger of Identity Politics: India’s Injurious Frame of Communalism”, I reviewed the book in January 2022.  It claims that Muslims in Gujarat have been turned into “new untouchables”, thanks to the Hin

Rajasthan cops 'halt' Gujarat Dalit women's rally: homage to untouchability victim boy

By Our Representative  In a surprise move, the Rajasthan police stopped a Dalit women's rally from Gujarat on the borders after it crossed Gujarat alleging that it would "disturb peace" in village Surana, Jalore district, where the gruesome incident of death of a Dalit boy took place on August 13 after he was brutally beaten up by his teacher on touching the drinking water pot. Sources said, while the Gujarat government had "no objection" in allowing the rally, which originated from the Dalit Shakti Kendra (DSK), an empowerment-cut-technical institute for teens founded by human rights leader Martin Macwan, on September 24 morning, the Rajasthan police stopped it for two and a half hours before allowing it to proceed to Surana. The decision to take out a women's rally was taken at a DSK meeting on September 5 following a condolence meeting of the NGO Navsarjan Trust, also founded by Macwan, activists committed to work against caste-based discrimination, orga

'Blatant violation' of law by Central government in making NREGA payments

By Our Representative  In September third week, NREGA workers across the country were mobilised for two day so raise their issues and submit a memorandum to the Prime Minister. Organised the NREGA Sangharsh Morcha (NSM), a collective of groups that work with NREGA labourers across the country, workers from 13 states -- Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal -- carried out Kaam Do Abhiyaan, staging demonstrations and rallies against what they called blatant violation of law by the Central government in making NREGA payments. While NREGA has had very positive impacts, it has lately become fruitless, exploiting labour, even though workers who have put in honest hard work have to wait for their wages endlessly, it was suggested.  In such a situation, there is a need to firm up NREGA implementation and end systematic corruption to ensure that workers get their basic NREGA entit

Excess to cheetah in Kuno to increase 'woes' of local people, 'disturb' wildlife balance

Bharat Dogra*  The release of eight cheetahs into the Kuno National Park ( Madhya Pradesh) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 17, although accompanied by a media blitz, has raised several questions. The animals were flown from Namibia to Gwalior and from there they were taken to the release site in a helicopter. Official sources have stated that this is the first time a large carnivorous species has been moved across continents for establishing a new population. This first release will be followed by others under this project. However, precisely for this reason, it is important to be cautious because if such translocations have been generally avoided in the past, there may have been reasons for this and at the same time we do not have much learning experiences from the past. The Cheetah became extinct in India in 1952, although this very fast moving animal is still remembered in the folklore of many areas. Hence the first impulse is to say that trying to introduce and revive

Introducing non-native cheetahs is 'not equivalent' to restoring pride in the nation

By Bappaditya Mukhopadhyay*  The Cheetahs from the African continent has finally been introduced to India by the Indian Prime Minister on his 72nd birthday. The process had started with the previous Government in 2009. However, the Supreme Court clearance was pending owing to the objection by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) plea to reintroduce cheetahs. Finally the clearance was obtained in January 2020 and thereafter Kuno National Park (KNP) was chosen for the reintroduction of first set of Southeast African Cheetahs. In the near future, depending upon the success story of the current reintroduction, more cheetahs from South Africa may also be introduced. This exercise has generated a lot of interest among various stakeholders with opinions on both sides galore. It is important to pose some questions that surround the whole exercise. Let us evaluate some of these arguments. The first set of arguments are quite detached from the issues of conservation as they most

'Military diplomacy': US praises Bangladesh Army for leadership role in UN operations

By Kamal Uddin Mazumder* As the Indo-Pacific region represents the world’s economic and strategic center of gravity, the Indian Ocean today is becoming the centerpiece of all geo-strategic play. Cooperation in the region is crucial to implementing the international community’s global agenda, including achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Major powers like the US have enhanced and deepened their strategic engagement and leadership roles with countries in the region. The Indo-Pacific Army Management Seminar, or IPAMS, is a U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) initiated conference that is aimed at facilitating and enhancing interactions among the armies of the Indo-Pacific region. This year's 46th Indo-Pacific Armies Management Seminar (IPAMS)-2022, co-hosted by the Bangladesh Army and US Army Pacific (USARPAC), concluded in Dhaka. The objective of IPAMS is to promote peace and stability in the region through mutual understanding, dialogue, and friendship. It is the largest confer

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".