The Apex Court ordered the polytechnic to reinstate Dr Punjabrao Deshmukh as the principal from December 2012 within four weeks
NEW DELHI : The Supreme Court has not only reinstated a retired Amravati polytechnic lecturer nine months after his retirement but appointed him as the principal with retrospective effect from December 2012, but only after an 8-year long legal battle with over half a dozen petitions.
Dr Punjabrao Deshmukh Polytechnic superannuated lecturer Pramod on 4 Jan 2016, on the ground that he has completed 60 years of age. The Apex Court ordered the polytechnic to reinstate him within two weeks and appoint him as the principal from December 2012 within four weeks, with all consequential benefits.
This was one of the six judgments, including one on prohibition Kerala bars except those run by 5-star hotels, delivered by the Bench of Justices Vikramjit Sen and Shiva Kirti Singh last week during the court vacation, a day before Justice Sen retired.
It took serious offence to the Shivaji Education Society that runs the polytechnic superannuating Pramod despite the Apex Court’s order on 21.11.2014 for maintaining status quo of his services.
Since Pramod, who was working with the polytechnic since 1977, was superannuated despite the Apex Court’s interim order, the Bench held that he shall be deemed to have continued in service without interruptions even after 4 Jan 2016 and entitled to full salary and emoluments for the entire period till reinstatement. The Court also slapped cost of Rs 50,000 on the society, directing it to pay to the lecturer along with other arrears “within two months.”
The Apex Court said ordinarily it would have directed the management of the society to consider his case for promotion and pass appropriate orders in accordance with law, but it gathered an impression that the management cannot be presumed to be just and fair to the appellant and it decided to order his reinstatement and appointment instead of relegating him to the mercy of the management.
It also held that lecturer Pramod stands promoted to the post of the principal with effect from 01.12.2012 as “this in normal course should have been the time taken for such promotion if the respondent-Director had not passed a wrong order on 17.10.2012.” The Court said if the director had taken the correct view by the end of 2012, Pramod would have been occupying the post of principal and would not have superannuated before 65 years or in any case before 62 years of age. It noted that the state government had in 2010 increased the retirement age of lecturers of the private polytechnics from 58 to 60 years, extendable up to 62 years after prior approval of the government and that of the principal to 65 years.