Jamia Millia Islamia cannot take shield of the court to get money from the UGC the Delhi HC

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Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) cannot take shield of the court to get money from the University Grants Commission (UGC), the Delhi High Court has observed while rejecting a plea by the university to direct the commission to release funds for the Sarojini Naidu Centre for Women Studies. The court’s oral observation came while hearing an application filed by the university in a pending plea by a professor working as the director of the centre, seeking payment of her salary.

Jamia moved the application saying that the professor’s salary could not be paid due to non-grant of aid under the regular budget or under the scheme of ‘Development of Women Studies in Indian Universities’ by the UGC and sought to direct the commission to release the grant to the centre and to clear the deficit balance of Rs 6 crore under the scheme. The high court, however, said when all other officers, including the vice chancellor and registrar of the varsity, are getting salaries, why not the concerned teacher.

“You sell your properties and pay off the money. You cannot take shield of the court to get money from UGC. Ask your Vice-Chancellor (VC) and Registrar to stop their salaries and pay this teacher. “For all other officers you have money to pay salary, for her you want our order to the UGC. VC and Registrar are receiving salaries but the poor teacher is not getting salary,” a bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad said.

JMI standing counsel Pritish Sabharwal submitted that the centre belongs to UGC and the varsity is running it under the scheme of the UGC. He said the UGC had sent a letter to the varsity for merger of the centre and not of teaching posts and the funds for teachers’ salary have to come from UGC which has stopped releasing the grants. The bench noted that the university had on the last date of hearing said that it will be paying all outstanding amounts to the professor during the course of the day.

The court had accepted the assurance and had said that the professor shall continue to be paid her salary on monthly basis within time. During the July 6 hearing, on a specific query by the court as to whether the vice chancellor and registrar and other teachers are receiving salaries, the university’s counsel fairly replied in affirmative. The court dismissed the plea saying, “This application is nothing but an attempt to circumvent the (previous) order which was a consent order. We find no reason to entertain the application. It is rejected.

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