HC stays JU orders on replacing DyCM as PhD guide

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Justice B L Bhat of the J&K High Court at Jammu has stayed the orders of Jammu University’s Registrar and Head, Department of History,  whereby it was directed that the scholars of Prof Nirmal Singh doing research under his guidance, were required to give choice for new Supervisor and Prof Nirmal Singh (present DyCM of J&K) was to be replaced and was directed not to be continued as the guide for the petitioners namely Skalzang Dorjey, Suneeta Sharma, Sonika Chopra and Kouple Dev.
This significant order was passed in a writ petition filed by petitioners- scholars of Prof Nirmal Singh, DyCM of J&K through Advocates A K Sawhney and Aseem Sawhney.
Justice B L Bhat, after hearing Aseem Sawhney Advocate observed in his order that petitioners are PhD research scholars in post graduate department of History in the University of Jammu and are aggrieved of impugned order dated 26.11.2015 passed by the Registrar of Jammu University and order dated 10.12.2015 passed by HoD of History Deptt of University of Jammu by virtue whereof the  petitioners have been directed to give choice of new supervisor for continuation of their PhD course rejecting their applications for continuation with the existing supervisor Prof Nirmal Singh who is presently member of the State Legislature and holding post of DyCM of J&K.
Aseem Sawhney Advocate contended that most of the petitioners have completed 80-90% of research work and they are required to submit the thesis in the month of April 2016. It was further contended by Mr Aseem Sawhney counsel for the petitioners, that the Supervisor Prof Nirmal Singh is willing to continue to impart guidance to the petitioners. Further it was contended that even after induction Prof Singh has already guided two research scholars  and in terms of the  impugned orders the petitioners will have to  choose new supervisor to the detriment of their academic career which is nearing completion.
Mr Sawhney said that present Supervisor being a devoted teacher, guided the petitioners- scholars in their subject most diligently and under his able guidance the petitioners have been able to get through most of the research work.  Said Supervisor of the petitioners Prof Nirmal K Singh who at that time was already a political leader of the State was given the mandate  of the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) in the J&K Legislative Assembly Elections  in the year December 2014 and he contested the elections and became an MLA, thereafter in the new Govt. i.e. present Govt took oath as Cabinet  Minister of the State of J&K and was made the Dy Chief Minister of the J&K State in  March 2015.
The respondents have referred to a resolution passed by University Council of Jammu, on 7th December 1987 in their impugned order dated 26.11.2015 but said resolution nowhere corresponds with the impugned order dated 26.11.2015 and its impugned clause 5 which is bad in the eyes of law and therefore be set aside, the counsel urged.
It is provided in the impugned clause 5 that the new supervisor should be given on need basis and that too at the time on before filling of the nomination papers by the Professor standing in elections.
As a fact of the matter, the election nomination took place on 26/11/2014, none of the action has taken place on giving a new supervisor till 10/12/2015, thus delay of one year on the part of the authorities/ respondents has been caused just to harass, victimize and jeopardize the careers of the petitioners. That during the time gap i.e. 1 year and 1 month the selected research scholars- petitioners have completed a lot of research work under the supervisor who were registered on 1st May 2011, and have sustained all the rules and regulations present in the statute of University of Jammu. Now the scholars – petitioners have only few months left to complete their thesis i.e. before 30th of April 2016. By the impugned orders the petitioners shall be allotted new Supervisors, but to again de novo start the research under new Supervisor would tantamount to wastage of about 4-5 years of research. New Supervisor shall take time to understand the topic and will deal with the entire researches of the petitioner in his/ her new way thus the entire research which is 95% in most of the cases, made under the Supervisor Dr Nirmal Singh will go waste, which shall be very harsh and unjust. The UGC Rules and the University Statute have defined that the student/ scholar – Supervisor ratio and in the present case which ever teacher/ Supervisor is allotted or chosen the said ratio shall be disturbed and the norms of the UGC and the University would get disturbed thus making it an illegal exercise. Therefore the allocation of new Supervisor cannot be made since all the teachers in the department have their own scholars.
The University Council Resolution of 1987 is not scholar oriented and it is just concerned with the Teacher or the Professor who becomes and MLA/ MP/ MLC etc and no where it deals with the scholars or the student fate etc. The petitioners though have not been provided with these resolutions but the petitioners have got an RTI application filed and it is incumbent upon the respondents to provide the copy of these Resolutions to the petitioners as well as the Court.
In the case  of petitioners they have almost completed more than five/ four and half years and changing supervisor for last 3 or 4 months is highly bad, illegal, punitive and irrelevant and it creates frustration among the scholars/petitioners as well as for the new supervisor because new supervisor will be unable to understand the topic within a short span of time.
So much so that in case where the Supervisor retires/ superannuates the same Supervisor can continue to guide and if the progress is 80% such candidates can submit the thesis as per clause 17 of the Brochure of PhD Admission of Jammu University out of rules/ regulations.
After hearing these submissions of counsel Aseem Sawhney, the High Court issued notice to the Jammu University through its Registrar, Vice Chancellor and HoD History and also stayed the impugned orders.

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