GNLU Gandhinagar is back in the Gujarat high court, this time facing its accounts officer’s petition for alleged wrongful termination of employment.
The law school’s assistant finance officer – designated as head budget, accounts and finance – Manoj Prakashbhai Patel has alleged that GNLU terminated his employment contract before its expiry, without a written notice stating the reasons for termination.
Patel told us that his five-year contract of employment with GNLU would have ended in 2019, but he was informed verbally by the GNLU administration, in December 2016, that 31 December 2016 would be his last working day.
Advocate KB Pujara, acting for Patel, obtained a temporary stay against GNLU’s action, on 27 December. According to the 27 December order delivered by Gujarat high court justice Sonia Gokani:
The petitioner has cleared B.B.A & M.B.A examinations so also the examination of computer being (CCC+). Pursuant to the advertisement dated 15th September, 2011 issued by the respondent, he was selected and appointed on 2nd January, 2012 for the period from 2.1.2012 to 31.12.2017. It is his say that after completion of probation period of one year, another appointment letter was issued on 24th January, 2013 for the period from 1.1.2014 to 31.12.2019. It is his grievance that orally he has been informed by the respondent-authority that his employment will be ended on 31st December, 2016.
Justice Gokani ordered temporary relief to Patel, of protection against being relieved or discharged from his duties and against his service conditions being altered, until the next date of hearing in the case. The case will be heard next on 17 January.
GNLU director Bimal Patel did not respond to an email for comment.
GNLU is also facing a case against its alleged illegal appointments, filed in the Gujarat high court by three administrative staff members of the law school. A source within the law school told us that judgment has been reserved in that case until 13 February 2017.
Patel is also facing inquiry by a committee set up by former Chief Justice of India TS Thakur, to look into allegations of illegal faculty recruitment at the law school. However, a source within the law school told us that there has been no progress yet in that inquiry.
Additionally, GNLU has had a busy year in the Gujarat high court, facing several litigation by students and staff alike, with staunch remarks by judges of the court.