The Delhi High Court on Monday said that no contempt proceedings would be initiated against the teachers of Delhi University-affiliated Dyal Singh College who had flouted the court’s order by protesting against the semester system, but asked all teachers to cooperate in the system’s implementation.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna said, “At present, we are not inclined to proceed for contempt, but we command that all the teachers of the University of Delhi and all colleges affiliated to the said university shall cooperate in all aspects and teach in the semester mode and not proceed on the path of deviation which would, in the slightest manner, bring them in the net of the violators of the orders of the court.”
The bench May 12 reserved its order on charges by Delhi University that teachers of Dyal Singh College had shown total non-cooperation and had, in fact, taken a decision not to teach in the semester mode.
Counsel for the university moved an application alleging that the teachers of the college should be punished for contempt of court because they tried to stall the implementation of semester system.
“We may note with profit that when these matters were heard, this court had, apart from hearing the counsel for the petitioners (Delhi University Teachers Association and others), also heard some of the teachers who had shown their concern for the students but we cannot, at present, ignore the stand of the University that the semester system is in the interest of the students,” the court said.
Noting the petitions would not entail deciding which system will be in the interest of the students as the court was not an expert and this was to be decided by the university authorities, the bench said it would only go into the question of whether the introduction of the semester system has been done in accordance with the provisions of the University Act and other relevant rules.
“Pending the same, we repeat our command so that no teacher or staff shall pave the path of deviancy. We treat the resolution of Dyal Singh College Staff Council as a resolution passed in anxiety and decidedly misguided in law. While expressing our displeasure in respect of the resolution, we advisedly refrain ourselves from taking any action against the teachers or the staff.”
The bench also said, “However, we repeat our order which was passed on earlier occasion and command the teachers of the University and the affiliated colleges not to deviate and to extend fullest cooperation on all aspects and in all spheres pertaining to teaching in the semester mode.”
“We hope and trust that the teaching community, which is expected to be a disciplined one, shall not compel this court to take any stringent action because of their conduct or action in future. They should await the verdict of this court.”
On the issue of validating the varsity’s move to implement semester system in all its courses from the current academic year, the court ordered the matter be listed on July 12 for final disposal.
As of now, there are 13 courses, including physics, chemistry, botany and zoology, which follow the semester system in the university.
A petition by the DUTA challenging the implementation of semester system for undergraduate students has been pending before the court since last year.