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2016-06-13 06:48:31

Selective prosecution of IGNOU VC Prof Aslam Alig ; Delhi High Court again slaps MHRD

In yet another slap to the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) in the case of Prof. M. Aslam, Vice Chancellor of  IGNOU, the Delhi High Court in a recent hearing, in response to a CM filed by Prof. M. Aslam VC, regarding withholding  of Inquiry report by MHRD for five and half months in the teeth of the orders passed by   Court on  October 7, 2015, has issued a notice to the Ministry. The Court asked the Ministry to file its reply-affidavits within a period of six weeks.

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It is to be recalled that the MHRD instituted an Inquiry into the functioning of IGNOU in November, 2014 and Prof. Aslam   was also asked to proceed on leave for a month or till such time the report is submitted by the Inquiry Officer to MHRD.  The period of leave/inquiry was extended on one or the other pretext and VC continued to be on leave.

No doubt, it was an unprecedented step when a Vice-Chancellor is being asked to proceed on leave during an inquiry particularly when there were no financial irregularities or nepotism was involved.

Hence Prof. Aslam challenged jurisdiction of inquiry against him before the High Court of Delhi by filing a Writ Petition in February, 2015. Admitting his writ petition, the Court  in its order of 10 February, 2015  ruled that “petitioner’s contention with regard to Inquiry Officer’s jurisdiction to conduct an inquiry, prima facie, appears to be tenable., Therefore, the inquiry report, if prepared, shall not be given effect to till further orders of this Court.”

On Prof. Aslam’s writ petition, the counsel for MHRD told the High Court on hearing on 14 September, 2015 that the enquiry report has been received by MHRD and placed before Hon’ble President on September3, 2015 and decision would be taken within a period of 15 days. The hearing was thus adjourned to October 7, 2015

However, on the next hearing (i.e.on October7, 2015) the MHRD took a U-turn and sought permission from the Court to place the report before the Visitor. It was contradicting its own earlier statement.  However, the Court directed MHRD to place Inquiry report before the Visitor within 3 days and directed that decision of the visitor, be not made public and placed before the court on 24/11/15 in a sealed cover. It seems that no report was placed before the High Court on 24 November, 2015. The Case was heard on 15.12.2015 and25.1.2016. The Court was informed that “the Visitor to the University ‘probably’ has not taken the decision till then.” The Court requested the Visitor, “if has not already taken the decision, to endeavor to take the decision before the next date of hearing”.

In the meantime, Prof. Aslam through an RTI was informed by MHRD that the final report was received by MHRD on 2nd September, 2015 and that it was placed before the Hon’ble President only on 24th February, 2016.  It clearly implied that the MHRD was with-holding Inquiry report for five and half months and showed no respect to the orders passed by Delhi High Court to place the report before the Hon’ble President within three days just to deprive Prof. Aslam  from justice so that he is not able to resume his duties and continues to be kept on forced leave.

it seems that MHRD is leaving no stone unturned to get the case in the Delhi High Court adjourned under one or the other pretext in order  to keep  Prof. Aslam  away from the University who has been on forced leave since November, 2014 and IGNOU remained a headless institution.

Academic fraternity questioned the present government’s motive behind targeting world-renowned educationist and intellectual without any valid reason?  They felt that Prof. M. Aslam, who joined as Vice Chancellor of the world’s largest Open University – the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in April 2013, is being selectively persecuted. They said Prof Aslam has remained sincere and honest throughout and created new records of excellence.

Isn’t  world’s largest Open University being treated in a way  that it dies its own death.

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