Recently, the Supreme Court has set aside an Allahabad High Court order which had quashed Appointment of an Assistant Professor and observed that the Appointment was not challenged in a reasonable time as per provisions of the applicable Act.
In the instant case, the Executive Council of King George Medical University ( KGMU ), 08/08/2005 approved the Selection Committee’s recommendations. It appointed the appellant as Assistant Professor and one Dr Jitendra Kumar Rao as Lecturer.
However, at 13.02. 2009, Rao submitted a representation before the Chancellor challenging Pooran Chand’s Appointment and claimed seniority. The Chancellor rejected the representation, and the case reached the High Court. Hon’ble High Court allowed the writ and quashed the Appointment of Mr Pooran Chand as Assistant Professor.
Case Before the Apex Court
The Bench looked into the provision of KGMU Act concerning time limitation period for making representation and observed that Appointment of Mr Chand as Asst. Professor was not questioned or challenged as per provisions of the Act.
According to the Bench, Section 53 provides that if there is a question regarding a person’s Appointment or election, then the Matter will be referred to the Chancellor, and his decision will be final. If a challenge is not made within three months, then the Chancellor would not entertain the same.
As per the provisions, if a person is appointed and his appointment is not challenged within three months, the University might not interfere with the challenge due to the academic calender’s requirements and not disturb the studies.
The Bench observed that the Appointment could not be challenged after four years. The Appeal was allowed, and the Court observed that as per the Act there is a mechanism to address challenges to an appointment to make representation to the Chancellor within three months.
However, in the case at hand, Respondent no.4 was promoted in 2007; therefore, the High Court should not have entertained his petition, and if the Appointment was not challenged in a reasonable time, then the petition should not be entertained by Committee.