Dismissal of Kerala lecturer incorrect: University
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Last Updated: Thursday, September 09, 2010, 23:23
Kottayam: Lecturer T J Joseph, whose right palm was chopped off by radical activists and who was also sacked, had a ray of hope in getting his job back with the Mahatma Gandhi University syndicate asking his college to re-consider its decision.

After a meeting of the University Syndicate, Vice-Chancellor Rajan Gurukkul told reporters the University body felt that the Church-run Newman college management at Thodupuzha had not followed due procedures while dismissing Joseph from service.

"Considering the procedural flaws and humanitarian consideration, the University would ask the college management to reconsider the action against Joseph," Gurukkal said. Joseph was attacked allegedly by activists of radical outfit Popular Front of India(PFI). The college is affiliated to the Mahatma Gandhi University.

The college management said it would respond to the University's request after getting the Syndicate's decision in writing.

Asked to comment on the Syndicate's decision, Joseph said he felt relieved to a "certain extent." Jospeh maintained that he has done nothing wrong to hurt the sentiments of anyone or any religion.

Kerala Education Minister M A Baby while hoping that Jospeh will be reinstated said there was a procedural error on the part of the college management while carrying out its action.

Joseph, who is still struggling to recover from the double blow, has sent a letter to the management, requesting that he be reinstated on humanitarian grounds as he had not deliberately done any harm.

He said his salary was his only source of income to sustain his family and that his 25-year record as a teacher had been unblemished.

Joseph, who was teaching Malayalam literature, was first suspended after the question paper row earlier this year and dismissed from service on September 1 on the grounds that he had hurt the religious sentiments of a community.

The college authorities had justified their action, holding that it was necessary to assert the secular credentials of the educational institutions run by the church.

Writers and academics, mostly of pro-Left circles, have rallied round Joseph condemning the college's action as harsh and inhuman as he had suffered physical assault from fanatics.

The Mahatma University Syndicate is also expected to look into the legal aspects of the action against Joseph at its meeting this week. A Syndicate press release said it found the action against the teacher was in "gross violation of procedures".

It also asked the college management to review the dismissal order and "take appropriate further steps in accordance with law, justice and equity."

The syndicate, on considering the proceedings, found there was "naked violation" of Section 63 (Sub-Section 4) of the Mahatma Gandhi University Act, which stipulates the duration within which the educational agency should complete the proceedings, the release said.

As it was a gross error vitiating the entire proceedings, the Syndicate had resolved to direct the college management to review the dismissal order, it said.


First Published: Thursday, September 09, 2010, 23:23

Tag: LecturerArmPFI
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