BENGALURU: The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) on Wednesday stayed the transfer of Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysuru Director Prof Ram Rajasekharan.
Hearing Rajasekharan’s petition, the bench comprising Dr K B Suresh Kumar and Prasanna Kumar Pradhan passed the interim order staying his transfer order untill further orders. The next hearing will be on September 18. Rajasekharan was appointed as Director of CFTRI on July 18, 2012 for a tenure of six years. On August 28, he was transferred as Director (Special Projects and Initiatives), at Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR) headquarters in New Delhi.
Contending that there must be sufficient and significant reasons for his transfer and that prior notice was not issued to him, Rajasekharan moved the CAT. CSIR’s counsel argued that a committee was formed at the level of joint secretary on directions from the Prime Minister’s office to look into some allegations against Rajasekharan. The committee had found that Rajasekharan is from Tamil Nadu and there was a question of regional bias which had led to law and order problems in CFTRI. However, the counsel clarified that he is yet to obtain the committee’s report. Observing that both the grounds to be superfluous and irrelevant while considering the merit of a person at the level of director of a lab, the bench said if there is a law and order problem, the Karnataka police is quite capable of tackling them.
“If a particular person is from Tamil Nadu and has a regional bias, as submitted in the court, then he should have given a notice and after hearing him only, action can be taken against him,” the bench said.
The bench added that no man can be punished unheard. The ex-parte report of the Joint Secretary cannot confer any additional credibility to a process unknown to law, it said.
“There is a specific provision under which Ram Rajasekharan was appointed. Therefore if applicant has to be removed, there must be sufficient reasons. Even the reason which had been explained now by the Government is sadly lacking in the negativity so as to assume that applicant not be suitable for the post and the institute will suffer because of his continuation,” the bench said. The bench also asked CSIR and the Ministry of Science and Technology to file a reply within four weeks.