DIMAPUR, MAY 4: The Kohima Bench of Gauhati High Court on Wednesday directed the State’s Higher Education Department to file within 5 days (on or before May 9) an affidavit listing the names of Associate Professors eligible for promotion, mentioning their required qualifications, as per the Nagaland Higher Education Service Rules of 2015.
The order, issued by Justices Songkhupchung Serto and Nelson Sailo, was in relation to a writ petition filed on December 10, 2019 by 24 Associate Professors and 1 Controller of Examination under the Department of Higher Education.
According to Court records, the 25 petitioners were initially appointed in various posts of Assistant Professor and were now Associate Professors.
Their grievance, as submitted by their Counsel, was that via the Nagaland Higher Education Service Rules of 2015, a new criteria requiring Ph. D degree for promotion to the post of Principals, Professors, Additional Director and Director of Education has been introduced.
“And by this, they have been disqualified from being promoted to any of those posts”, it stated.
Back then, the Court was informed that the petitioners had already submitted a representation expressing their grievances to the Department authorities and sought a directive from the Court to instruct the Department authorities to dispose of the same within a specified period of time.
In the course of a series of hearings ~ specifically on August 24, 2020 ~ the Counsel for the petitioners, A Zhimomi, submitted to the Court that “many developments” were taking place during the pendency of the petition, and therefore, sought the disposal of the representation submitted to the Department first “and in case the petitioners do not get favourable response, they can file a fresh writ petition challenging the same”.
However, the Government Advocate, Livika, responded saying she had been instructed to submit that the State respondents were not inclined to accept the prayer of the petitioners “therefore, it would be a futile exercise to direct them to dispose of the representation”.
As such, she submitted that notice may be issued by giving them time to file an affidavit-in-opposition so that the matter may be adjudicated and disposed of.
Since the August 24, 2020 hearing, the Court has heard the matter on 17 occasions ~ the latest being on Wednesday, May 4.
After hearing the submissions on Wednesday, the Court ruled: “In the course of hearing, we felt that the respondents should file an affidavit showing the names of the Associate Professors who are eligible for further promotion, mentioning their qualifications, which are required for promotion as per the Rule of 2015. The same should be filed either on or before May 9, 2022”.
The next hearing will be on May 11. (Page News Service)