Monday, August 10, 2009

Status of IIMA

An important judgement related to IIMA is due on August 25- and it seems to have escaped the notice of much of the media. The only detailed report I have seen appeared in DNA.

The Gujarat High Court, the paper reports, will rule on "Whether the legal status of IIM-A (Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad) is of an autonomous institution, a State or an instrumentality of State..". If IIMA is a state institution, then article 226 of the constitution would become applicable whereby a high court can entertain a writ petition against the state or any state institution.

The issue has arisen in the context of a case filed by a dismissed IT manager of IIMA. The employee stated that "despite having performed her duties satisfactorily, she was illegally dismissed by the present director in complete violation of the principle of natural justice.".

Claims and counter-claims regarding the status of IIMA were made by the concerned counsels:

The IIM-A counsel, Nandish Chudgar, countered the argument by stating that the petition was not maintainable as the institute was an autonomous institution - it did not fall under the status of 'State' and 'an instrumentality of State' under Article 12 of the constitution, as held by a division bench of the Gujarat high court in 2002 in a case against IIM-A.

In his counter reply, Sinha argued that the decision of the division bench of the Gujarat high court, which is relied upon by the IIM-A's advocate, was mainly based upon the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Chander Mohan Khanna vs. National Council of Educational Research and Training in 1991. However, by a subsequent judgment of a division bench of the supreme court, in the case of Pradeep Kumar Biswas vs. Indian Institute of Chemical Biology in 2002, has specifically held that the decision in Chander Mohan Khanna does not lay down the correct law.

IIMA has thus far scrupulously adhered to norms applicable to public institutions in matters such as SC/ST quotas, OBC quotas, the Pay Commission awards and the RTI Act. It is also subject to CAG audit.


K.R.Srivarahan said...

Nothing provokes institutional introspection better than dismissal of an employee. IIMA is on the verge of discovering "Who am I?" Thanks for the information.

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