Mumbai: The Delhi University Teacher’s Association (DUTA) has written to the acting Vice-Chancellor of the Delhi University on Tuesday appealing to withdraw the termination of services of jailed and disabled professor GN Saibaba as assistant professor, Ram Lal Anand College of the University.
The letter signed by the Association's President Rajib Ray states that an appeal against the Gadchiroli sessions court’s 2017 verdict sentencing him to life imprisonment is pending before the Bombay High Court’s Nagpur bench. The College's Governing Body had constituted a four-member committee from within the body and begun proceedings towards terminating Saibaba’s services. His wife received a letter from the college’s principal that the professor’s services had been terminated with effect from 31 March 2021.
The letter recalled the case of SAR Geelani who was associate professor in Zakir Husain College of DU and sentenced to death penalty in the Parliament Attack case by a trial court. Geelani was acquitted by the High Court and subsequently reinstated.
The association stated that the letter of termination came as a shock as the decision seems to have been taken without waiting for a reply to the show-cause notice issued to him in June 2019. In a letter of November last year, Saibaba’s wife AS Vasantha had written to the college stating that due to COVID lockdown no instructions could be taken from him with regard to the show-cause notice.
It said further that if the university has approved of the decision, it is contrary to its own instruction of issuing fresh show-cause notice.
“The decision to terminate his services without waiting for his reply, when he is unable to respond due to prison lockdown conditions and extreme ill health (that includes testing positive for COVID along with other life threatening ailments) seems arbitrary, vindictive and against the principles of natural justice),” the letter said.
The association reiterated that the case against him cannot be regarded as final until all appellate remedies are exhausted. It said further that the college during the entire time when he was unde trial, did not have any case of disciplinary action against him.