Delhi High Court is waiting for Jamia's response to its petition against the dissolution of the teachers' union.

  • Dec. 8, 2022, 12:44 p.m.

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice to Jamia Millia Islamia in a plea challenging the central university’s decision to dissolve the Jamia Teachers Association (JTA), which was founded over 50 years ago.

A single-judge bench of Justice Prathiba Singh observed, "The question that arises in the writ is two-fold." First, the petitioner must determine whether he can maintain the writ petition since he no longer works at the university. "Two, whether the Jamia Teachers Association can function independently of the statute constituting the university in the absence of a prohibition."

On the plea filed by a member of the association, Amir Azam, a professor of chemistry who retired from Jamia in 2021, the high court further asked the university to place in a "sealed cover" a copy of the report of the committee constituted by Jamia itself to examine the "shortcomings in the constitution of the teacher’s association." The matter is next listed on February 14.

Appearing for the teacher’s association, senior advocate Kapil Sibal argued that the teacher’s association is entitled to function independently of the university, further questioning the order of the vice chancellor dissolving the association. He further submitted that the teachers are within their fundamental rights to form an association under Article 19(1)(c) of the Indian Constitution, subject to morality, public policy, and the security of the state.

The university argued before the high court that the association has to function as per the Jamia Act, and a six-member committee, headed by Prof. Mohd Shakeel, was formed as per an order of November 18 to look into the constitution of the association, and its report was awaited.

The plea claimed the association is an autonomous organisation governed under the articles of the constitution drafted in 1967 and the university has no authority in law on the recognition or functioning of the association. The plea said the VC's decision to dissolve the JTA on the recommendation of deans of faculties through orders passed on November 17 was completely arbitrary and illegal, as the association could only be dissolved in the manner prescribed in its constitution.

The plea also alleged that the constitution of the six-member committee by the university to investigate the shortcomings of the JTA’s constitution was illegal, as Jamia had no authority to interfere in the internal functions of the teachers association.

Author : Rajdhani Delhi Representative

Rajdhani delhi representative

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