Dismissal of NUJS Registrar held valid for committing financial misdeeds

Calcutta High Court: While upholding the decision of Executive Council, the bench comprising Debangsu Basak J., held dismissal of the Registrar valid for committing financial misdeeds.

In the present case, the students of the NUJS had complained about financial misdeeds in the affairs of the University. Such complaint was considered by the E.C. on February 8, 2014. The E.C. had empowered the V.C. to take suitable action with regard to such representation. The V.C. had constituted a three-member committee headed by Justice N.N. Mathur (Retired). The committee had submitted a report without identifying any person. The report of the committee was considered by the E.C. The E.C. referred the matter to the finance committee. The finance committee submitted its report to the E.C. This report of the finance committee was considered on July 5, 2014 by the E.C.

The issues raised in the instant proceedings were: – (i) Can the E.C. delegate its power to initiate disciplinary proceedings to the V.C. under the Act of 1999? If so, did the E.C. validly delegate such authority to the V.C.? (ii) Does the V.C. under the Act of 1999 have any power to initiate a disciplinary proceeding? Is the decision of the E.C. dated June 18, 2016 bad for non-consideration of the Enquiry Report, response of the petitioner to the Enquiry Report and the evidences?

The learned Senior Advocate for the petitioner has contended that, the E.C. could not have delegated its function of initiation of disciplinary proceedings. According to the learned Senior Advocate for the University, the E.C. has the power to delegate the power of initiation of disciplinary proceedings and that such power was validly delegated.

After perusal of the arguments advanced by the Counsel, the Court held that the power to appoint the Registrar of the University is with the Executive Council in view of Clause 9(1) of the Schedule to the Act of 1999. Therefore, the power to initiate a disciplinary proceedings and to dismiss  Registrar of the University will be with the E.C. The Court therefore, upheld the decision of the E.C. of dismissing the Registrar from service and sufficiently elaborating and giving reasons for the same.  The Writ Petition dismissed and the interim order passed on July 15, 2016 stands vacated. [Surajit Chandra Mukhopadhyay v. West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, W.P. No. 12652 (W) of 2016, decided on July 26, 2016]

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