No relief to former Principal of Bhavans College
Former principal, Dr Susy Kuriakose, of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s Hazarimal Somani College, at Chowpatty has got no relief from the Bombay High Court on her petition challenging, dismissal from the college in 2011, on grounds of misappropriation of funds.
In the order passed last week, Justice RP Sondulbaldota dismissed the petition filed by Kuriakose and said, “Considering the position held by the petitioner and the nature of misconduct, respondent no.1 (college management) was within its authority and right to award the punishment of dismissal.”
Kuriakose had challenged the order of the University and College tribunal passed in 2015, rejecting her claim that principles of natural justice were not followed while dismissing her from service. Further it was argued through her advocates Vikash Khanchandani and Karan Dogra that “charges of misconduct framed against her were false and the action of dismissal taken against her was a result of a biased and perverse domestic enquiry against her.”
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan opposed the petition saying, “The conduct of the petitioner in award of contract for civil work for more than Rs.9, 00,000 for the computer laboratory was arbitrary and without proper authority. Also, the purchase of computer and furniture at the cost of Rs.6, 42,143, was without authority. They claim that the petitioner was given a fair and proper opportunity for defending herself. The respondents had adhered to the rule of law and the enquiry officers on the basis of oral and documentary evidence had concluded that charges of misconduct were proved against the petitioner.”
Kuriakose was appointed in 2003 as the Principal of the College. In 2009 she was suspended from the services and served with a chargehseet by the management. The chargesheet stated that she had committed misconduct by violating the code of conduct. Following which a domestic enquiry was initiated. Pending that, another show cause notice was issued to her for purchase of computers in the college in 2007. After the conclusion of the enquiries she was dismissed from service in 2011.
After going through the tribunal order and the facts of the enquiry, the court said, “The petitioner does not state as to what the prejudice is caused to her by the enquiries. In fact, as noted in the impugned order, the petitioner had complete opportunity to defend herself. She has not only cross-examined the witnesses of respondent no.1 but also examined several witnesses in support of her defence. Therefore, the enquiry is not vitiated on that court.”
As carried in DNA on 18.3.17