HC to FTII chairman: Consider recalling suspension order of professor for criticising Modi govt | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

HC to FTII chairman: Consider recalling suspension order of professor for criticising Modi govt

Apr 09, 2022 10:52 PM IST

The bench said, “We are of the prima facie view that the impugned suspension order is illegal and needs to be considered properly”

Mumbai: The Bombay high court (HC) recently directed the chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune to reconsider the suspension order of a faculty member against whom disciplinary proceedings were initiated after he posted messages on Facebook criticising the Modi government and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The professor was served three show-cause notices in May and June 2019, one of which specifically “charged” him with posting messages on Facebook criticising the central government and also the party in power, the BJP. (HT)
The professor was served three show-cause notices in May and June 2019, one of which specifically “charged” him with posting messages on Facebook criticising the central government and also the party in power, the BJP. (HT)

The division bench of justice Sunil Shukre and justice G A Sanap on April 1 also directed the chairman to inquire under which authority the director – Bhupendra Kainthola proceeded to issue the order placing Indranil Bhattacharya under suspension, even though the chairman had not approved the proposal submitted in that behalf, and submit his report to the court.

Now catch your favourite game on Crickit. Anytime Anywhere. Find out how

The bench noted that under provisions of the Central Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1965, only the appointing or disciplinary authority or other authority empowered by the President of India, can place a central government servant under suspension. The bench also noted that in Bhattacharya’s case, though the chairman of FTII was the disciplinary authority, the suspension order was issued by the director.

“It is; therefore, prima facie appears that the director of the Film and Television Institute has exceeded his authority in placing the petitioner under suspension,” said the bench. “We are of the prima facie view that the impugned suspension order is illegal and needs to be considered properly.”

Bhattacharya has moved the high court challenging the July 19, 2019 order passed by Kainthola, placing him under suspension with immediate effect pending a disciplinary inquiry. He had primarily challenged the order contending that the charge sheet was not served upon him and the inquiry officer was not appointed to conduct the disciplinary proceedings in two of the three charges levelled against him.

In his petition, Bhattacharya contended that the vindictive action started after he lodged a complaint with the chief vigilance commissioner with regard to the functioning of the institute. He was served three show-cause notices in May and June 2019, one of which specifically “charged” him with posting messages on Facebook criticising the central government and also the party in power, the BJP. He had argued that the Facebook account was a private account and the action sought to curtail his fundamental freedom of speech and expression.

He further contended that the notices were issued on the presumption that a government employee cannot criticise policies and programmes of the government and its functionaries. His petition will now come up for further hearing on April 20.

Get World Cup ready with Crickit! From live scores to match stats, catch all the action here. Explore now!

Stay updated with all the Breaking News and Latest News from Mumbai. Click here for comprehensive coverage of top Cities including Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, and more across India along with Stay informed on the latest happenings in World News.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, June 24, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On