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Calcutta High Court Issues Contempt Notice To The Only Central University In West Bengal For Non-Compliance Of Its Orders

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
17 Jan 2021 8:33 AM GMT
Calcutta High Court Issues Contempt Notice To The Only Central University In West Bengal For Non-Compliance Of Its Orders
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The Calcutta High Court on Friday issued show cause notice of contempt to the Visva-Bharati University, the only Central University in the state of West Bengal. A Division Bench comprising of Justices Soumen Sen and Saugata Bhattacharyya has summoned the University Registrar & Registrar (Acting) on February 4, for non-compliance of its previous order in a case pertaining to payment...

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The Calcutta High Court on Friday issued show cause notice of contempt to the Visva-Bharati University, the only Central University in the state of West Bengal.

A Division Bench comprising of Justices Soumen Sen and Saugata Bhattacharyya has summoned the University Registrar & Registrar (Acting) on February 4, for non-compliance of its previous order in a case pertaining to payment of salary to Professor of Manipuri Dance.

Background

On December 24. 2020, the Division Bench had observed that Manipuri Dance is the integral part of the dance drama conceived by Tagore and it is in the interest of the University that a Professor of Manipuri Dance is not shabbily treated.

In the facts of the case, the University claimed that the actual salary payable to the Petitioner-professor was Rs.2,30,958/- as opposed to a sum of Rs.2,52,018 that she had been receiving. Hence, a demand notice was issued to the Petitioner asking her to return the excess payment made to her from the date of her joining i.e. April 2014.

The Court was of a prima facie view that a person after being allowed to work in a post, his/her salary could not be reduced and cannot be directed to return any amount for the period she performed her duties. It observed that the question of recovery of arrear salary may be considered only after exchange of affidavits.

In this backdrop, the Court directed the University to pay a sum of Rs.2,30,258/- (climed to be the payable amount by the University), without prejudice to the right and contention of the parties.

It further directed the University to deposit the differential amount i.e. Rs.21,060/- in a separate bank account to be opened in the name of the University with any nationalised bank, and continue to deposit such differential amount towards alleged monthly salary payable to the Petitioner till the disposal of the writ petition.

"We hope and trust that the Vice-Chancellor of the University shall look into the matter and resolve the issue keeping in mind the academic excellence to which Tagore has thrived throughout his life and we expect that this Institution ensures preservation of the "Philosophy of Tagore" in all fields and excel in all directions. It is a pride not only of West Bengal but India," the Court had observed therein.

Contempt

When the matter re-appeared on January 15, the Petitioner complained before the High Court that she had not received any payment in terms of the above order, and further, no affidavit of compliance was filed by the Respondent-University.

Under such circumstances, it has directed Ashok Kumar Mahato, Registrar & Registrar (Acting), Visva Bharati University to be personally present before it on 4th February, 2021 with an affidavit explaining the reason for non-compliance of the said order.

Case Title: Prof. (Dr.) Sruti Bandopadhyay v. Ashok Kumar Mahato

Click Here To Download Order [Dec 24]

Read Order


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