Can't fight indefinitely, SC tells K'taka prof

The Supreme Court, after obtaining a categorical assurance from Emmanuel Lalith Kumar on his behaviour, directed the college management to consider his representation.

The Supreme Court has told a Karnataka college professor that he cannot keep fighting with the management indefinitely and expect them to mollycoddle him. An unpleasant atmosphere in a college makes students suffer, the court said.

“A professor cannot flex his muscle with the management and remain in the college. You are not working in a factory, where you operated in a closed environment. Your behaviour would have a direct impact on the students,” a bench of Justices Kurian Joseph and Sanjay Kishan Kaul told Emmanuel Lalith Kumar, a teacher with S M S College, Brahmavara, Mangaluru.

The court's strict advice to Kumar came after advocates Prasad Hegde and H Chandra Sekhar, along with the principal and president of the Orthodox Syrian Catholic Educational Society, which is managing the college, contended that Kumar picked one or the other issue to fight with the authorities. There is a behavioural problem with him, they said.

“You tender an apology for the unruly behaviour. If you try to become a super principal that would be the last day in your college,” the bench orally told Kumar.

The professor's tenure was terminated on April 14, 2009, on the charges that he did not attend the college since 2006 and news items emerged in local dailies that six stolen vehicles were recovered from the compound of his residence. The top court had in March directed for reinstatement of Kumar to his post. It had in May also directed for payment of his salary.

Kumar, along with his advocate R Balasubramanian, submitted "let bygone be bygone. He (Kumar) is prepared to tender an unconditional apology for his inappropriate and unsavoury conduct" and promised to render all cooperation for the smooth running of the college.

Kumar said though the college had reinstated him, it made him suffer the ignominy of working under his student, who has been made the Head of the Department (HoD) of History. The college authorities, however, said he had not provided the requisite documents to verify his PhD degree. This was again refuted by Kumar and his counsel.

The court, after obtaining a categorical assurance from Kumar on his behaviour, directed the college management to consider his representation within a week to make him the HoD.

It also directed a branch of Syndicate Bank to allow him to operate his dormant account after completion of formalities where his salary was deposited by the college. The court also directed the jurisdictional police to serve contempt notice on Mahesh Rao, Regional Deputy Director of Collegiate Education, Mangaluru, who was not present, despite the order. The court sought his presence on August 27, the next date of hearing.

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Can't fight indefinitely, SC tells K'taka prof

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