Despite the firm and compelling order of the Allahabad High Court ordering the re-instatement of Magsaysay awardee Dr Sandeep Pandey to the IIT at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Dr Pandey was not allowed to rejoin the IIT-BHU when he went to do so, on Saturday May 7.
Sandeep Pandey told Sabrangindia:
“When I went on 7 May, 2016 to rejoin IIT-BHU after a Allahabad High Court order dated April 22, 2016, which quashed my termination order as a Visiting Professsor there on January 6, 2016 , the Director Professor Rajeev Sangal informed me that the Vice Chancellor Professor Girish Chandra Tripathi, who also happens to be the Chariman, IIT-BHU Board of Governors, has not yet returned the file in which his advice was sought in the matter of my rejoining. Effectively, the VC has decided to delay the compliance of HC order.
As my contract with IIT-BHU was an annual contract which ends on 31 July, 2016, if continues, deliberately to dilly dally over my re-entry until that date (and effectively ‘uses up the time of 3 months that he has available to appeal the High Court’s Order in the Supreme Court), he will be successful in blocking my return to the IIT-BHU campus, which is probably what his intention is.”
In a landmark judgement that holds out of hope for free expression, and also quoting from Voltaire who famously said “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to death your right to say it.” the Allahabad High Court today, ruled in favour of renowned Gandhian, professor and Magsaysay award winner, Dr Sandeep Pandey and quashed the decision of the IIT Banaras Hindu University (BHU) to pre-maturely terminate his contract. The fact that the professor was not given a chance to explain the serious charges levelled against him was also strongly rebuked by the High Court. The path-breaking order can be read here.
Justices Mahesh Chandra Tripathi and V.K. Shukla moreover also recalled the syncretic vision of the founder ot the Banaras Hindu University, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, saying, “...The (BHU) Founder's vision has been as follows; “India is not a country of Hindus only. It is country of Muslims, the Christians and the Parsees too. The country can gain strength and develop itself only when the people of different communities in India live in mutual goodwill and harmony. It is my earnest hope and prayer that this Centre of life and light which is coming into existence will produce students who would not be intellectually equal to the best of their fellow students in other parts of the world, but will also live a noble life, love their country and be loyal to the supreme ruler.”