D A Rashid
Srinagar, Oct 26: The High Court has put on hold an order of the University of Kashmir whereby the varsity has appointed its Dean Research last month.
After hearing a plea by Prof Khurshid A Butt from the Department of Commerce, a bench of Justice Sanjay Dhar put in abeyance the order dated September 29, 2021 whereby Prof Irshad A Nawchoo has been appointed as Dean Research for a period of three years or until he attains the age of superannuation.
Issuing notice on the petition for response, the Court said: “In the meantime, the impugned order passed by the respondent no 3 shall remain in abeyance”.
Prof Butt, through senior advocate Syed Faisal Qadiri has challenged the said order on the grounds of “violation of seniority”.
He contends that as per Section 29 of the University of Kashmir and Jammu Act, read with Statue 1.6 of the University of Kashmir, senior-most professor has to be nominated as Dean Research. He further contends that the University authorities have appointed Prof Nawchoo as Dean Research who figures far below the petitioner in the order of seniority.
The petitioner has placed on record copy of the tentative seniority list to buttress his contention.
After hearing counsel for petitioner and perusing the material on record, the court said a case for grant of interim indulgence was made out. “Issue notice to the respondents subject to taking of necessary steps by the petitioner within one week,” the court said and listed the case for next hearing on December 8.
In a separate plea filed by Prof Butt earlier, the Court had directed the KU not to fill the post of Dean Research till its further orders if he (Prof Khursheed Ahmad Butt) was not considered for appointment against the post. Butt filed the petition with the contention that he is entitled to the post of Dean Academic Affairs being the senior-most professor.
The Court had said that the appointment of Prof Farooq Ahmad Masoodi as Dean Academic Affairs shall remain valid till September 28.
The direction had come while the court issued notice to KU’s Vice Chancellor, Registrar and Professor Masoodi of the Institute of Home Science besides Assistant Registrar (Administration-TW) on Butt’s plea. Butt in his plea through counsel M Y Bhat challenged the order dated 2 August 2021 whereby Prof Masoodi has been appointed as Dean Academic Affairs.
In his plea, Butt, contends that his junior had been assigned the job of Dean Academic Affairs when Butt was the senior-most professor of the university.
“The respondents have violated the university statutes while appointing Dean Academic Affairs which post fell vacant on 31 July 2021 with the retirement of the erstwhile Dean Academic Affairs,” Butt submitted.