NEW DELHI – The Delhi High Court has said a delegation of teachers can meet the Vice Chancellor of the Jamia Millia Islamia for resolving the issues on a plea filed by Dr. Amir Azam, the former President of the Jamia Teachers Association (JTA) challenging the body’s dissolution.
A single-judge bench of Justice Prathiba M. Singh issued notice over various office orders dissolving the JTA’s Executive Committee.
The court sought a response from the university and also directed it to place in a “sealed cover” a copy of the report of the committee constituted by Jamia to examine the “shortcomings in the constitution of the teacher’s association”.
Justice Singh listed the matter for the next hearing on February 14.
The court said: “This shall be without prejudice to the contention of the senior counsel appearing for the petitioner, that such a committee cannot in any manner question the existence of an association of teachers which is a fundamental right under the Constitution of India.”
Moreover, the court said that if the teachers’ delegation wants to meet the VC of the university to solve the issues, a meeting could be conducted in the VC’s office on December 20 at 11.30 a.m.
Appearing for Azam, senior advocate Kapil Sibal argued that the JTA functions independently of the university.
However, the said position was disputed by counsel appearing for the university who submitted that as per the constitution of the association, it was established in accordance with the Act of the University.
“The questions which arise in the matter are as to whether Azam can maintain the plea as he is no longer working in the University and if the association can function independently,” the court pointed out.
The plea stated that since the teachers association is an autonomous body, it can only be dissolved in the manner prescribed in its constitution and not otherwise.
“Therefore, the act of the Vice Chancellor to dissolve the JTA and derail the election process on the recommendations of the Deans of Faculties is illegal and arbitrary,” the plea read.
The plea also argues the act of constituting a committee to look into its constitution’s shortcomings is completely arbitrary as the university does not hold any power to interfere in the manner the association functions. -IANS