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Resentment over suspended principal's reinstatement

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  28 March 2015 12:00 AM GMT


DOOMDOOMA, March 27: The reinstatement of Sadiya College Principal Kirti Ch Phukan, who was suspended by the Director of Higher Education (DHE) on November 19 last year on charges of 'misappropriation of college funds, non-submission of accounts to competent authorities and willful disobedience of order of the higher authority', has evoked strong resentments among the students and teachers of the college.

The students resorted to an agitation on March 25 and stopped entry of the Principal to the college by closing the main gate of the college. The protesters also shouted slogans like "Stop corruption", "Do not sell out Sadiya College", "Principal Go back" and "Sadiya College will burn if Dibrugarh University withdraw its affiliation to the college". When contacted Vice-President of Sadiya College Students Union, Shri Rajesh Bhandari and Literary Secretary, Pankaj Gogoi said that that their agitation would continue till their demand for restoration of congenial academic atmosphere in the college was fulfilled.

The Principal-in-charge, Gha Kanta Dihingia, who had to take charge unilaterally at the intervention of Governing Body(GB) as suspended Principal Kirti Ch Phukan disobeyed DHE's order in handing over charge to a senior most lecturer, expressed surprise at this outcome. Only on February 5 last, an enquiry team from the Director of Higher Education(DHE) visited Sadiya college and submitted an enquiry report to DHE.

Incidentally, Dibrugarh University also conducted an academic enquiry on July 29 and 30 last year and show caused Principal K.C. Phukan for allegedly reselling University's answer sheets to students by fixing an fresh cover over it like that of copy books and strongly warned him that in the event of his non-compliance, University's affiliation to the college would be withdrawn. This issue had greatly perturbed the minds of the students and the students body's representatives recently lodged a written complaint to the Commissioner & Secretary of Higher Education.

Surprisingly, the Commissioner & Secretary (Higher Education) to whom suspended Principal K. C. Phukan submitted a review petition against the suspension order of DHE (No. G (B)/Misc-128/2010/120 Dated 19th November, 2014) reinstated him on the ground of non-receipt of any resolution about suspending him by the governing body of the college. However, according to governing body (GB) president, Shri Agam Ch Gogoi the GB of the college had suspended Principal K.C. Phukan by resolution no. 4 and adopted resolution no.5 for drawing necessary departmental proceeding against him in its meeting held on May 18, 2013 and forwarded the same to DHE for approval. The DHE kept it pending till the receipt of another enquiry report by the Deputy Commissioner, Tinsukia District who carried out the enquiry as per directive of Commissioner & Secretary (Higher Education) to DHE and forwarded it to the latter towards the end of 2013.

But when the Commissioner and Secretary (Higher Education) reinstated suspended Principal K. C. Phukan as a Principal without any fincial power till the completion of the enquiry against him as per resolution No. 5 of the GB of the college but conveniently choosing to overlook the Resolution No. 4 by which GB proposed to suspend Principal K. C. Phukan.

The fundamental rule is that a person has to be suspended for the sake of restraining him from tempering with the documents that remains in his custody and secondly, for the sake of neutrality of the enquiry conducted against him. Now questions have been raised how this reinstatement and enquiry will go together.

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