CHENNAI: Appalled by the practice of the Dr Ambedkar Law University engaging guest lecturers, Madras High Court has directed the varsity to give up the practice.
"We are appalled by the contention raised in the counter affidavit, inasmuch as the University seems to be running on the strength of guest lecturers. If that be the case, they can dispense with the appointment of regular professors or lecturers in respect of all the subjects. This is not the way a University can function. Every subject which is being taught in a University should be by a full time professor or lecturer," a division bench of Justices R Sudhakar and S Vadyanathan has said.
The bench was allowing a writ appeal from PRL Rajavenkatesan, seeking to quash an order of a single Judge dated August 5, 2013 refusing to appoint him as an assistant professor in environmental law in the Law University.
"A Guest Lecturer is only a supplement and he/she cannot be a primary mode of imparting education. We find that the attitude of the University, that is to say that there are guest lecturers to teach various Law subjects and there is no need to appoint regular faculty members, would be an affront to the system of education and an abdication of its role as an educational institution. This approach goes against the basic tenet of education that regular teachers should be appointed be it schools, colleges or universities, so that the students are not deprived of a full-time regular teaching faculty. We therefore reject the plea of the University that a full-time Professor/Lecturer is not required, on the contrary it is a must," the bench said.
After noting that though the appellant had secured the highest marks in environmental law, he had not been selected. The bench directed the University to redo the selection process in respect of Environmental Law by appointing an appropriate Committee and complete the said process within four weeks on the basis of the records already available. The Committee is also entitled to assess the merits of the rival candidates as has been done in the case of Business Law, International Law and Intellectual Property Rights. Discretion is left to the University to maintain the earlier coram as far as possible and if there is difficulty in getting the full complement as before, they can choose competent alternative members, the bench said.