Chandigarh, July 22
The Chandigarh Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) today stayed the execution of an order, void which additional charge of Principal of Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA) given to Professor Sangeeta Bagga was withdrawn and awarded to the chief architect of UT Kapil Setia the an interim base.
Principal position at Chandigarh College of Architecture
Bone of contention
- July 19, additional charge of Principal of Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA) removed from Professor Sangeeta Bagga and assigned to UT Chief Architect Kapil Setia
- Calling the order ‘illegal and arbitrary’, Professor Bagga asks the Central Administrative Court to overturn it
- She also requests the issuance of instructions to allow her to continue as principal until a regular appointment to the position is made, as she is the oldest professor with a doctorate and eligible to hold the position.
The court also issued an opinion to the Chandigarh administration regarding Prof. Bagga’s claim filed through lawyer Rohit Seth. Professor Bagga had prayed to overturn the order issued by the UT administrator while calling it “illegal and arbitrary”. She also requested the issuance of instructions to allow her to continue as principal until a regular appointment was made, as she was the longest-serving professor with a doctorate and eligible to hold the position. She further asked the Respondents to order the Respondents to fill the position of Principal on a permanent and time-limited basis.
Appearing on behalf of Bagga, Seth argued that the petitioner received the additional charge from the ACC Principal on September 21, 2017. He alleged that vague and frivolous complaints had been made against her in the past. After investigation, a speaking order dated July 26, 2017 was adopted by the Secretary for Technical Education. Among other things, he said that a special committee had recommended filing these complaints because he had found no basis for the whole matter.
Professor Bagga argued that the issue of seniority was also duly settled by the administration and achieved the finality as she was the only female professor with a compulsory doctorate. It has been given the additional charge of principal by the administration for being the oldest faculty in CCA. She alleged that some faculty members again filed baseless complaints against her.
“Now, under an empty punitive order dated July 19, the charge of principal of the CCA has been removed from the petitioner, no doubt on the basis of false and frivolous complaints filed by or manipulated by special interests, without holding any investigation about it by associating the plaintiff. Only an internal investigation appears to have been undertaken behind the plaintiff’s ‘back’,” the application reads.
The applicant added that action should be taken against employees who repeatedly complained about the same issues.
“Being a graduate, the incumbent, who received the charge, Kapil Setia, is not qualified for the position and in no way in the hierarchy according to any rule or instruction,” she said.
The court was told that the doctorate was essential, apart from other requirements, under the rules of any college of architecture or the draft rules of the CCA. No other senior served in the college as a professor to claim the position. The action amounted to revising the previous orders in which the charge of the post of headmaster had been entrusted to the applicant. Her sudden dismissal after five years the way it was done was punitive, especially as the Applicant was left with 12 years of service to date.
UT lead attorney Anil Mehta appeared for the administration.
After hearing rival arguments, the court suspended the order and adjourned the case to July 28.