RML College Threatens Professor Saibaba with Termination
June 21, 2017
Despite Professor G N Saibaba's conviction being challenged in Bombay High Court, Ram Lal (RML) College has issued a show-cause to the professor, asking why disciplinary action, including termination of services should not be taken against him. This move by the RML College is uncalled for as legal proceedings for Saibaba’s conviction under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, are yet to conclude.
The Committee for the Defence and Release for G N Saibaba approached the administration of the University of Delhi and the RML College on 14 June 2017 to appeal for a postponement of disciplinary action against Saibaba. The Defence Committee members including Delhi University professors, activists and writers stated that further punitive action may jeopardise Professor Saibaba’s capacity to seek legal relief. They added that he is the breadwinner of his family, any such action against Saibaba would threaten his family’s well being.
“We firmly believe that he has been wrongfully convicted under false charges” reads the appeal. “It will be a travesty of justice, if his and his family’s suffering is deliberately compounded by further punishing him for a crime that he did not commit and from what he is seeking relief from the Court.” It appears, however that the College authorities are determined to take action against Saibaba even before he has exhausted the legal remedies.
As soon as Saibaba was arrested in May 2014, the RML College suspended him from the college. According to the Central University Act, 2009, a professor under suspension is paid only 50 percent of his/her salary (which can later be hiked up to 75 percent). Over the last few years, Saibaba’s family has lived on just a portion of his salary, and this is in addition to the harassment they have faced in the name of raids and surveillance by the police and government authorities.
As the university deprives Saibaba and his family of a livelihood by threatening to remove him from his job, the state kills him slowly. Professor Saibaba spent 14 months in Nagpur jail before he was granted bail in April 2016 because of his deteriorating health. Ignoring the fact that he is 90 percent disabled, the jail authorities denied him basic toilet and medical facilities. He was also kept in solitary confinement. While he was in jail, his left hand became completely paralysed and he developed severe multiple organ infections.
The State and its machinery must stop harassing Professor G. N. Saibaba because his ideology is different from that of the ruling dispensation. The University of Delhi and the RML College cannot take disciplinary action against him and terminating him before all legal remedies run out.
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