HC: Swamy's plea for recovery of dues from IIT

New Delhi: A court here has agreed to hear a plea of Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy, who has sought recovery of over Rs 19 lakh as alleged dues from IIT-Delhi for his services there as an assistant professor between 1972 to 1991.

The court's order came while dismissing an application of Director, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, who had sought dismissal of Swamy's civil suit on the ground that his plea was time barred and beyond the jurisdiction of the court.

"Keeping in view the discussion, application of defendant (Director, IIT-Delhi) is hereby dismissed. The suit will progress forward from the stage immediately prior to the passing of this order," Additional District Judge Neelam Singh said.

The IIT Director, while opposing Swamy's plea, has said that he has sought recovery of Rs 19.50 lakh along with an interest of 18 per cent with effect from February 1991 and his total claim was Rs 70.20 lakh which is beyond the pecuniary jurisdiction of a lower court here.

It said Swamy's claim for alleged dues was constantly denied by the IIT as he has failed to provide the details of the amount earned from his employment for the period between December 11, 1972 to March 27, 1991.

Swamy, who had filed the plea for recovery of his dues, however, opposed the application by the IIT Director, saying that he came to know about his dues only in 2009 after filing RTI applications which revealed that the Director has "falsely" presented the case for his dues before the Board of Governors.

The court dismissed the application of IIT Director saying, "At this stage, it will be immature to hold that the suit of plaintiff (Swamy) is without any cause of action when the averments, if taken prima facie, discloses the cause of action in favour of the plaintiff and against the defendant (IIT Director)."

The court has now fixed the matter for April 27 for cross examination of witnesses in the case.

Swamy had filed the suit to recover salary and allowances in revised grade from December 12, 1972 till May 21, 1991 along with interest at 18 per cent with effect from February 20, 1991 till the date of payment and gratuity, pension.

Swamy said that in December 1969, he was Assistant Professor, Department of Economics at Harvard University and had an informal interview with Director of IIT who had asked him to start work immediately as a Professor.

He said in October 1972, he was appointed as Professor of Economics on the unanimous recommendation of a nine-member selection committee headed by Manmohan Singh, who is presently the Prime Minister.

He said that through an office memo dated December 11, 1972, his appointment was illegally and with malafide motive, terminated with effect from December 11, 1972.

After several rounds of litigation, his termination order was declared as null and void by a court here which said that he was entitled to be treated as continued in the service of the IIT without interruption, he said.

However, he, through a letter in March 1991, requested the IIT to permit him to demit the office as a Professor which was accepted.