In one of the longest service cases in the history of India, after 47 years of legal battle with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, BJP leader and former Professor of the IIT, Dr. Subramanian Swamy got his salary dues with 8% percent interest. Swamy, who was Professor of Economics, was terminated from IIT in 1972 without notice due to the animosity with the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. She was annoyed over the young professor’s articles advocating market economy and criticizing her economic policies that were dictated by the Soviets. The Left academicians also hated Swamy, simply for his ideology.
Dr. Roxna Swamy was also sacked
Along with Swamy, the IIT sacked his wife Roxna too, who was teaching Mathematics on a contract basis and evicted them from the staff quarters. Swamy was selected as a Professor in IIT in 1969 by the then selection chairman Dr. Manmohan Singh (it is a small world). Actually, Swamy came to India, leaving Harvard on the promise of an appointment in Delhi School of Economics by the then head of the institution Amartya Sen. But Sen changed his mind after the protests of Left academicians. It was the former Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh who came to Swamy’s rescue and appointed him at the IIT-Delhi as a Professor of Economics. But Swamy’s arguments and articles for market economy invited the wrath of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi leading to his sudden termination.
Jaitley was cunningly misquoting a rule for government officials who were taken back to service which was not applicable to IIT.
From then on Swamy was fighting the case against the illegal termination, though he joined active politics as Jan Sangh’s Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) from 1974 and continued to teach at Harvard University during the summer semester. In February 1991, the trial court declared the termination of Swamy as null and void and he joined the IIT back as Professor for one day and the next day he resigned. The legally sharp Swamy claimed his salary dues from 1972 to 1991 and all his enemies in politics played all kinds of tricks to delay the case and tried to block his eligible salary dues.
Ram Jethmalani and Arun Jaitley
Advocate Ram Jethmalani was an arch-rival of Swamy in those days (they are friends now). Jethmalani was making all kinds of threats oral and written, to the IIT authorities, if they decided to pay salary dues. The Left academicians were also in it, trying to prevent payments. Jethmalani even declared that those who favour Swamy’s case in IIT would face criminal prosecution! Curiously, in 1993, Jethmalani’s then legal associate Arun Jaitley provides a “legal opinion” to the IIT. The opinion said that Swamy is entitled to dues but with a mischievous clause. The clause said that before settling dues, Swamy should declare to IIT about how much he earned from Harvard and other areas after the illegal termination till 1991 and that this amount should be deducted from IIT’s dues!
Many times, while making his arguments, Swamy ridiculed IIT for bringing up Jaitley’s mischievous legal opinion, which was not applicable to IIT’s rules. Swamy argued that if his earning from Harvard was considered, he has to pay back to IIT. Till 2019, the IIT’s advocates harped on Jaitley’s 1993 mischievous opinion, which always erupted in laughter in the Court. During Swamy’s arch-rival Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure, IIT’s Board of Governors played all kinds of tricks to avoid taking a decision in this case and UPA’s Education Minister Kapil Sibal also banked on Jaitley’s fraudulent advice.
Jaitley was cunningly misquoting a rule for government officials who were taken back to service which was not applicable to IIT. During Narendra Modi’s regime, Education Minister Smriti Irani and Prakash Javadekar directed IIT to settle the cases with Swamy and pointed out that this frivolous argument will cost a lot of interest money to the public exchequer. Irani and Javadekar suggested an out-of-court settlement with Swamy. Somehow IIT mysteriously continued its legal battle with Swamy and ultimately got slapped by the Court on Monday (April 8, 2019).
After hearing the case for many years, Additional District Judge Vineeta Goyal delivered judgment on one of the longest service cases by providing 8% interest of salary dues to Subramanian Swamy. According to Swamy’s assisting lawyers, calculating the interest of salary dues from 1972 to 1991, Swamy is expected to get more than Rs.40 lakhs from the IIT. Though this is a genuine service case, the twists and delays in the case leading to 47 years shows how uncouth some people are in keeping enmity and rivalry in each and every area.
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