Jamia VC appointed professor in violation of regulations, UGC tells Delhi High Court

The University Grants Commission (UGC) Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that Jamia Millia Islamia has appointed a professor in the department of History and Culture in violation of the regulations of minimum qualifications required for appointment of teachers and other academic staff in universities.

Seeking setting aside of the appointment, the UGC informed the court that the university in June 2021 released an advertisement for the teaching positions in various departments but none of the candidates were found suitable for the post and the process was aborted.

“However, on 20.01.2022, the Vice-Chancellor of this University unilaterally appointed Dr Nizam Hussain Al-Jafri to the post of the Professor,” the UGC told the court, adding, it was in violation of the 2018 regulations.

Stating that the regulations are mandatory in nature, the UGC said that they clearly say that direct recruitment to the post of professor in universities and colleges “shall be on the basis of merit through an all-India advertisement, followed by selection by a duly constituted selection committee as per the provisions made under these regulations”.

The submission is a part of an application moved in an appeal against Jafri’s appointment. Mohammad Javed Malik through advocate Iram Peerzada earlier this year had challenged the appointment, saying Jafri does not “possess a single day teaching and/or research experience in the field of history, be it modern or ancient history”.

The petition challenging the appointment was dismissed by a single bench in February. The division bench headed by Justice Satish Chandra Sharma reserved its decision on appeal filed by Malik on July 15.

On Wednesday, the counsel representing UGC through an application in the appeal said after the judgment was reserved in the case, he has been provided further instructions which highlights the mandatory nature of the regulations. It sought to place on record the written submissions in this regard.

The division bench of Chief Justice Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad termed UGC’s observation a “somersault” and said the judgment in the appeal was ready. “We will not do the complete hearing. Only this issue we will look into,” said the court while asking Jamia to respond to the application and listing the application for hearing on August 30.

Advocate Mobashshir Sarwar, representing Malik, had earlier argued that the appointment under challenge as well as the order of the single bench “is fraught with consequences and it has a pan-India ramification across all the central universities”.

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