Teachers’ posting: HC stays single judge order quashing Kerala University notification

Appeals by varsity, govt. say considering Professor posts as a unit legal

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Friday stayed for three months a single judge’s verdict quashing a notification of the University of Kerala related to the appointment of 58 teachers citing that the university had applied community reservation after treating professors of various departments as one unit.

The Bench comprising Justices A. Muhamed Mustaque and Justice Kauser Edappagath passed the stay order on an appeal filed by the University of Kerala and the State government against the single judge’s judgment which had also quashed an amendment brought to the university statutes in this regard.

Erroneous assumption

According to the appeals, the single judge had proceeded on an erroneous assumption that all posts in the university were taken as a unit for the purpose of reservation and omitted to take note that the amendment contemplated application of reservation category wise, taking all departments of the university as one unit in respect of a particular category — the Professors in all departments as a category, associate professors as another, and assistant professors as yet another.

The appeals also said that the single judge had also erred in assuming that the post of Professor in a department of the university was a ‘single post’ for the reason of there being no interchangeability in different disciplines. As regards the posts of Professors, apart from carrying the same scales of pay, the qualifications were broadly similar and the nature of duties imparted was also similar. Therefore, the consideration of all posts of Professors in the university as one unit for working out the roster of reservations was legal. The reservation on the basis of a category-wise roster system, whereby the entire university was taken as one unit, would not result in a monopoly of reservation or reservation of a particular post in perpetuity.

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