The Gujarat High Court, in the case of Parth Bipanchandra Patel & Ors vs Sardar Patel University & Ors, set aside a resolution passed by Sardar Patel University which had declared the appointment of 1100 lecturers as void ab initio.
A Bench comprising of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice Vipul M Pancholi termed the resolutions sacking the lecturers as arbitrary and illegal. Since the respondent university had neither served a notice to the petitioners, nor given them a hearing, the resolution was termed to be violative of the principles of natural justice.
The petitioners were appointed as Lecturers in colleges affiliated to Sardar Patel University. The Petitioners hadn’t qualified either the National Eligibility Test (NET) or the State Level Eligibility Test (SLET), as per the University’s Statute 196. The petitioners weren’t holding PhD degrees either. Their appointment was conditional and as per Statute 196, if the petitioners did not acquire the necessary qualifications within the stipulated time, they wouldn’t be eligible for future increments. From the date of appointments, the petitioners were entitled to all the benefits of regular employee including future increments. A resolution was passed by the respondent university terming the petitioners’ employment as void ab initio. However, the said Resolution was quashed by the High Court.
“21 …It is clear from the materials placed on record that the petitioners were appointed as Assistant Professors after undergoing the due process of selection and their selections were approved by the University by imposing conditions as existed then under the Statute 196 of the Statutes. In that view of the matter, to annul their appointments, it is obligatory on the part of the respondents to give them notice and an opportunity of hearing. In absence of such a course adopted by the 1st respondent University, it is to be held that the resolutions, which are impugned, are passed in gross violation of principles of natural justice apart from being arbitrary and illegal, as they are running contrary to the provisions of the Statute…”
Read the Judgment here.