UGC Regulations: Career Advancement Scheme Benefits To Be Provided If Previous Appointment As Ad Hoc Service Is More Than Year- SC
The Supreme Court has upheld the decision of the Division Bench of the Kerala High Court whereby the decision of the Single Judge was confirmed, directing the appellant University to grant the benefit of the Career Advancement Scheme ('CAS') to the respondent after counting her earlier service rendered as a Lecturer.
The Court observed that under the UGC Regulations, the benefit of CAS must be provided if the previous appointment as ad hoc service is of more than a year.
The Bench of Justice M.R. Shah and Justice MM Sundresh dismissed the appeal preferred by the University and held that no error has been committed by the Single Judge and the Division bench of the High Court and that the respondent worked continuously right from 1998 initially as Lecturer, then as an Assistant Professor and then as an Associate Professor on regular basis and on regular pay-scale, which in turn is in conformity with the Regulation 10(f) of the UGC Regulations.
In this case, the dispute arose with regard to the entitlement of the Respondent to reckon her service in the School of Medical Education for the period between October 3, 1998 to October 21, 2011 for the purpose of the CAS envisaged under the UGC Regulations. Her request for extension of benefit of CAS was considered favourably by the University and the Syndicate of the University decided to grant her the benefits of promotion, pay fixation etc. But, the benefit was later revoked by the Vice-Chancellor on the recommendation of the Syndicate Staff Sub-Committee on the ground that the respondent's initial appointment as Lecturer in the School of Medical Education was not to a post that was duly sanctioned in terms of the Mahatma Gandhi University Statutes.
Advocate Sakshi Kakkar appeared on behalf of the Appellant submitted that as per Regulation 10.1, only previous regular service as Assistant Professor, Associate Professor should be counted for direct recruitment and promotion under CAS and that the appointment of the respondent as a Lecturer was on temporary post and was not made after following due procedure as required under the Mahatma Gandhi University Statutes, 1997 and therefore, shall not be entitled to CAS benefits.
Advocate Gaurav Agrawal appeared on behalf of the respondent and submitted that the initial appointment of the respondent – original writ petitioner was after following due procedure and on probation and her probation came to be confirmed subsequently and that on the approval of the Director, School of Medical Education, respondent was appointed as Assistant Professor in the regular pay-scale and then was promoted to the post of Associate professor.
The Apex Court discussed in detail the Regulation 10.1 of UGC and said that it should be read as a whole and observed that-
"as per Regulation 10.1(f) the previous appointment as ad hoc or temporary service of more than one year duration can be counted provided that : (i) the period of service was of more than one year duration; (ii) the incumbent was appointed on the recommendation of duly constituted Selection Committee; and (iii) the incumbent was selected to the permanent post in continuation to the ad hoc or temporary service, without any break."
The Apex Court further observed that the respondent worked continuously right from 1998 initially as Lecturer, thereafter her probation was confirmed; thereafter she was appointed / promoted as Assistant Professor and thereafter again promoted to the post of Associate Professor on regular basis and on regular pay-scale and therefore, she shall be entitled to get her regular service counted for the period from October 3, 1998 to October 21, 2011 for the purpose of grant of the benefit of CAS.
Accordingly, the Apex Court held that no error was committed by the Single Judge and the Division Bench of the High Court in allowing the appeal.
Cause Title- The Mahatma Gandhi University and Ors. Vs. Rincymol Mathew