Ex-Member Board of Governors
National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education & Research (NIPER),
The President of India,
Sub: Prayer for the Visitor’s Intervention in the case of the NIPER (Punjab), reeling under the total breakdown of system
Namaskar. We are, first of all, thankful to His Excellency for having nominated us to the Board of Governors, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), Mohali, (Punjab). Today, we are pained to submit to the President of India the deteriorating status and grim picture of the NIPER (P), an institution of the National Importance. As per the statute of the NIPER (P), the Board of Governors (BOG) is the Supreme authority to administer and appoint; to render justice and discipline and for all affairs of the NIPER (P) – i.e., the BOG is the appellate authority in the governance but the Honourable Chairman, BOG, Dr.V.M.Katoch, Director General of ICMR does not recognize the powers of the BOG.
One of the powers of the BOG, as per the Act of NIPER (P), is to appoint such committees as it considers necessary for the exercise of its powers and the performances of its duties. But, no such committees such as the Selection Committee or the Finance Committee has been constituted this time though such practice prevailed in the past. With regard to functions, powers and duties of Chairperson, he / she is to ensure that the decisions taken by the Board are implemented. In reality, the Chairman acts autocratically with a self-proclamation that Chairperson is the appellate authority. Actually, now the NIPER (P) is governed by a vicious group of three – Dr.V.M.Katoch (Chairman), Dr.K.K.Bhutani (officiating Director) and wing CDR PJP Singh Waraich (Rtd.) (Registrar cum Secretary of the BOG). the BOG has not ever endorsed this group to indiscriminately administer, appoint, appropriate and divert Govt. funds, initiate disciplinary proceedings and dismissal of the faculties members.
This group’s argument of convenience is that it is enough to just intimate theBOG after any action taken. Therefore, the role of the BOG has been reduced drastically similar to that of a table of maintaining post-mortem reports and records prepared by the group. Another statute of the NIPER (P) guides that at least three BOG meetings should be held every year. But the Chairman informs us that only three BOG meetings during the tenure of the BOG need be held as per statute of the NIPER(P). Anyone can understand the Chairman’s arithmetic of convenience for his own vested interests. In the 59th BOG meeting, the Administrators asserted that three or four BOG meetings could only be conducted. They reiterate that rest of affairs could be dealt with the approval of the BOG Chairman. Between twoBOG meetings it took more than seven months. Now the administrators have invented a pioneering idea of getting the approval of the BOG members online! On the issue of convening the meeting of the BOG to discuss the unstarred question number 1913 in the Rajya Sabha as the answer was expected from the BOG, the requisition letter was signed by three Honourable members and myself. For that I was abused as if I had committed a sin. Such a hectic lobbying was witnessed to preclude the meeting of BOG. A special meeting for this purpose was later convened.But, alas! The Members were not permitted to discuss the question!
These are a number of instances to substantiate the fact that the taste of the BOG, NIPER (P) is bitter to the Chairman and the administrators. In the very first BOG meeting itself, I produced a heap of complaint files against the NIPER(P) administrators on the BOG table and requested the Chair that the BOG must enquire. With eruption of emotion, the Chairman responded that he was not police to enquire complaints. He may not, perhaps, aware that common sense and knowledge are the twin abilities enough to make any enquiry. When we questioned the authority of promoting the proven plagiarism, myself and another Honourable Member. Lalit Kumar Jain were sent anonymous letters describing us criminals and unqualified from false address. When such letters were tabled in the BOG after sending it to all concerned to defame us, we, both made pervent appeal to the Chairman to nip such malicious attempts against Honourable members in the bud. But the Chairman was totally indifferent!
In the minutes of the 59thmeeting of the BOG, I am shocked to see that another conspiracy of sorts against Honourable member Sh. Lalit Kumar Jain has been hatched to stifle his voice of criticism. The hatched episode is as if Dr.Girish Sahni moved a resolution w.r.t. conduct of Sh. Lalit Kumar Jain for impeding the proceedings, unnecessary hijacking the meeting and casting wrong aspersions etc. which was supported by other members, as if a voting was held by raising hands in support of resolution, as if all members present (including myself) except Sh.V.K.Dixit and Dr.N.J.Gaikwad raised their hand in support of the resolution and as if members requested the Chairman that the resolution be recorded as part of the minutes and also to take necessary action regarding conduct of Sh. Lalit Kumar Jain. Such deplorable and condemnable development is absurd and highly imaginative of crooked minds.
In the meantime, there were hue and cry and appeal after appeal to BOGmembers from faculties, scientists, technical assistants, non-academic and non-scientific staff to meet their legitimate demands, save from victimization, stop act of vengeance and so on, made to the BOG members. Almost all National and Regional Dailies, Journals and Magazines in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi regularly carried news caption of corruption, misappropriation, misrule and ill-legal appointments, casting bad aspersion on the NIPER(P). A number of faculties resorted to file cases against the NIPER(P) in the Honourable High Court of Punjab and Haryana after waiting in vain for justice from the BOG. But, the BOG was left with no option but to keep a blind eye, remain deaf and dump to the woes, worries, and the image assassination of the NIPER(P). Eventually several faculties of NIPER (P) were dismissed.The appointment of the Registrar was set aside by Honourable Punjab and Haryana High Court. In the case of Registrar, it is alleged that he did not meet even the basic qualification and experience.Officiating Director Dr.K.K.Bhutani was issued charge memo. The irony of ironies is that Dr.K.K.Bhuttani dared to sign agreements in Russia on behalf of Govt. of India even when he did not seek permission from Govt. of India to visit Russia.
The Acts and statutes of the NIPER (P) -Sec - 30 are crystal clear on Tribunal of Arbitration.
1. Any dispute arising out of a contract between the institute and any of its employees shall, at the request of the employees concerned or at the instance of the Institute, be referred to a Tribunal of Arbitration consisting of one member appointed by the Institute, one member nominated by the employee, and an umpire appointed by the Visitor.
2. The decision of the Tribunal of Arbitration shall be final and shall not be questioned in any court.
3. No suit or proceeding shall lie in any court in respect of any matter which is required by sub-section (1) to be referred to the Tribunal.
4. The Tribunal of Arbitration shall have power to regulate its own procedure.
5. Nothing in any law for the time being in force relating to arbitration shall apply to arbitrations under this section. This section – 30 heralds the proof that the BOG is the Supreme Court of the NIPER(P). Had the Tribunal of Arbitration established in the cases of several faculties, not only the role and respect of the BOG would have been upheld but also good amount of the NIPER (P) prestige and money saved.
The Chairman, after a lapse of almost two third of the tenure of the present BOG, has selected one Dr.Swaranjit Singh Flora, a Scientist in the DRDO, instead of choosing a name from a panel of three members selection list, through a search-cum-selection committee headed by Dr.S.K.Joshi. The mockery, here too, is that the selected candidate is not at all a Professor, a Scientist from an alien field to Pharmaceuticals and hence the clause of equivalence as Professor was invoked. The Chairman has had his own hidden agenda in the constitution of search-cum-selection committees and the selection process. As the BOG has not appointed the search-cum-selection committee, the selection is null and void as per theNIPER (P) Act and statute.
The students and researchers in the NIPER(P) have been revolting against the administrators, since 28.02.2013, particularly Dr.K.K.Bhutani - the officiating Director demanding his ouster. Students are fighting with all their might, undertaking hunger strike and thereby hospitalized. But, the Chairman is not even ready to share a word of concern among the Honorable members of the BOG and to discuss the ways and means of resolving the tangle. But, as per the Power of the BOG, it has been stated that the BOG is to supervise and control the residence and regulate the discipline of students of the institute and to make arrangements for promoting their health, general welfare, cultural and corporate life.
Therefore, our whole hearted prayer to the Visitor, NIPER(P), Mohali (Punjab), is that the most urgent need of these burning hours warrants the removal of
1. The Chairman Dr.V.M.Katoch for his autocratic functioning and for forfeiting and divesting the powers and performances of BOG.
2. The officiating Director Dr.K.K.Bhutani against whom there are numerous serious charges and allegations under investigation in the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers led by Honourable Srikanth Kumar Jena.
3. The Registrar cum Secretary Wing Cdr.P.J.P.Singh Waraich (Rtd.).His appointment and re-appointment are null and void. He was not appointed by the BOG.
4. Dr.Girish Sahni, Member BOG for co-conspiring with the vicious group against Honourable members of the BOG.
And, another appeal to the Visitor is to simultaneously reconstitute theBOG. Once again, we pray to His Excellency to immediately intervene to serve the lives and studies of students of the NIPER(P) and safeguards the interests of this prestigious institution.