Sabrang India


In a landmark judgment that holds out of hope for free expression, and also quoting from Voltaire who famously said “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to death your right to say it,” the Allahabad High Court today, ruled in favor of renowned Gandhian, professor and Magsaysay award winner, Dr Sandeep Pandey and quashed the decision of the IIT Banaras Hindu University (BHU) to prematurely terminate his contract.  The fact that the professor was not given a chance to explain the serious charges leveled against him was also strongly rebuked by the High Court.


Justices Mahesh Chandra Tripathi and V.K. Shukla moreover also recalled the syncretic vision of the founder of the Banaras Hindu University, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, saying, “…The (BHU) Founder’s vision has been as follows; “India is not a country of Hindus only. It is country of Muslims, the Christians and the Parsees too. The country can gain strength and develop itself only when the people of different communities in India live in mutual goodwill and harmony. It is my earnest hope and prayer that this Centre of life and light which is coming into existence will produce students who would not be intellectually equal to the best of their fellow students in other parts of the world, but will also live a noble life, love their country and be loyal to the supreme ruler.”


The High Court’ order also questions the motives of the IIT-BHU administration that took a summary decision to dismiss Dr Pandey without giving him an adequate hearing. The action was both ‘stigmatic’ and ‘punitive’ and guided by a differing ideological view. Further, it violated the procedural guidelines/rules of conduct. It states clearly that basic freedom of expression was violated in the Board’s decision.


On January 6, 2016 in yet another show of high-handedness under the new Central government, the administration of the IIT-BHU had terminated the services of Dr. Sandeep Pandey (due to pressures brought by RSS hardliners. – Ed)


April 22, 2016

Top - Home