The Delhi High Court has dismissed a petition challenging the appointment of political scientist Achin Vinayak as the head of the Political Science Department of Delhi University on the ground of delay of four years in filing the petition.

Subrata Mukherjee, a former professor of the Department, had challenged the appointment on the ground that Mr. Vinayak did not have the requisite qualifications and was junior to him.

Dr. Mukherjee's other submissions were that Mr. Vinayak was only a B.Sc. and had falsely claimed a doctorate in the subject of which he was appointed the head.

Mr. Vinayak's appointment was arbitrary and unsustainable in law, Dr. Mukherjee had further submitted.

Mr. Vinayak was initially appointed a professor in the department and then made its head.

Justifying the appointment of Mr. Vinayak, counsel for Delhi University submitted that he had authored several books and had been a visiting professor at Jamia Millia Islamia University here.

Counsel for the university further submitted that the selection of Mr. Vinayak had been in accordance with the prevalent rules and regulations and was beyond reproof.

His appointment was under “alternative qualifications category”.

“Under the alternative qualifications, a candidate for the post of professor is not judged by his academic qualification but in terms of his achievement and contribution in the relevant subject. Accordingly, educational qualification loses its significance in the backdrop of accomplishments in their field of specialisation,” Justice Manmohan Singh said while justifying the appointment.

Justice Singh further said that showing Mr. Vinayak as a doctorate holder was a mistake committed by the person who had written the minutes of the Selection Committee which had made the appointment.

The Court also concurred with the submission of the university that Mr. Vinayak had the requisite qualifications for the post.

“Admittedly…. Mr. Vinayak was appointed as professor in 2004 in the same department where the petitioner was working and the presumption is that he [the petitioner] knew about [Mr. Vinayak's] appointment. The present writ petition has been filed in November 2008 and prior to the filing of the writ petition, the petitioner had been appointed Head of the Department of Political Science and he was finally retired on January 31, 2009 after his three years' extension,” the judgment said.

“I find no valid justification on behalf of the petitioner to file the present writ petition after the expiry of more than four years. After considering the overall situation in the matter…., I find no merit in the present writ petition. The same is, therefore, dismissed….,” Justice Singh said.

More In: Delhi