Other varsity employees suffered a similar fate
MUMBAI: Econometrics professor Neeraj Hatekar is not the first university employee to have been suspended without following the protocol of being first issued a showcause notice and allowed to give an explanation. Former registrar K Venkatramani, former controller of examinations Vilas Shinde and head of the university‘s central computing facility Durgesh N Mujumdar were all asked to leave unceremoniously on charges they were later acquitted of. None of them were reinstated, though.
Hatekar’s suspension sent tremors among university staff as the vice-chancellor used his emergency powers against the recommendation of management council members such as Madhu Paranjpe. He had said that before initiating any action, the V-C should give an opportunity to Hatekar of being heard. In fact, what was also not considered is the economics department is an autonomous school and the matter should have been placed before its governing council.
In case of his suspension, too, Venkatramani was cleared of all charges after he moved court, but he was not reinstated. He again moved court against the university in April 2011 for not taking any action on the report. Later, when the court directed the university to accept the report, officials said Venkatramani was 58 and had passed his retirement age. “I retire at 62. I have challenged that matter, too, and it is in court,” said Venkatramani, registrar, D Y Patil University.
Similarly, Shinde, too, was suspended in January 2012 for allegedly submitting forged documents to support his work experience. Within 15 days, though, the committee appointed to check on his appointment documents cleared him of all charges. Shinde went back to his college and is now with Datta Meghe College of Engineering.
Majumdar was suspended after students did not get hall tickets before their exam in 2012. But sources said the fault lay with the Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Ltd, the agency that was to issue hall tickets. “Whatever be the reasons for which Majumdar has been suspended, there is still so much chaos in the current exam,” said Venkatramani.
The injustice meted out, said a university head of department, is a signal for many to “kowtow to the V-C”.
“Fairness is a hallmark of good leadership. Suspension is a huge blot on anyone’s careers and no other V-C has suspended so many class one officers,” said a former vice-chancellor of the Mumbai University.