NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has set aside the selection of nine assistant professors in the Department of Buddhist Studies of Delhi University and asked the varsity to conduct the employment process afresh.
"The writ petition is allowed. The selections made pursuant to advertisement dated January 11, 2012 are set aside. The University of Delhi would be at liberty to recommence the procedure for filling up the posts of Assistant Professors in the Department of Buddhist Studies from the stage of receipt of applications. The entire process will be completed expeditiously though not later than eight weeks from today," Justice Rajiv Shakdher said.
The court allowed the plea of four persons, who had earlier worked as Assistant Professors in the Department of Buddhists Studies for several years on ad-hoc basis, that they were not considered for regular employment on the sole ground that they did not secure 50 per cent marks in their graduation level examinations.
It found fault with the change in criteria of selection process by the Screening Committee.
The court said once the Executive Council of the DU has framed the selection criteria, the Screening Committing has no right to change it.
"The question... is: Could the Screening Committee stipulate a criteria contrary to the one, which had already been put in place by the EC of the University of Delhi. In my view, the answer has to be in the negative...," the judge said.
"The Screening Committee cannot put in an eligibility criteria for shortlisting if, the criteria is already stipulated in the advertisement or in attendant document by one of its premier bodies, i.e., the EC.
"As facts have emerged in the present case, the EC had in fact put in place a screening criteria as per which even a candidate who had secured a third division at the graduation level was required to be called for an interview if, he fulfilled other eligibility conditions required for the post," it said.
The university, in 2012, gave an advertisement for filing up 50 posts of assistant professors in its departments and nine posts were to be filled up in the Department of Buddhist Studies.
The court, while quashing the appointments made in the Department of Buddhist Studies, said, "At this juncture, the question is what relief ought to be given in the present petition.
"Since, I have held that the Screening Committing was not empowered to stipulate an eligibility criteria, as the criteria for screening applications had already been put in place by the EC, the entire selection procedure would stand affected."
"The necessary consequences of which would be that the University of Delhi would have to recommence the procedure from the stage of advertisement and short-list all such candidates who are eligible as per the criteria stipulated by the EC in its Resolution ...," it said.
The court, however, said that removing those who have already joined may cause difficulties for the students.
"Therefore, keeping in mind the interest of the students, till the fresh selection process is completed, those who have joined ... will continue in their post subject to, no equities being claimed by them, on account of this protem arrangement...," it said.