Punjab-Haryana High Court
Neha Miglani vs National Institute Of Technology … on 5 April, 2021 222


1. CWP-18066-2020
Date of Decision:05.04.2021

Neha Miglani
National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra and another

2. CWP-19242-2020

Mukesh Kumar
National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra and another


Present: – Mr.Tejpal Singh Dhull, Advocate,
for the petitioner.

Mr.A.S. Virk, Advocate,
for respondent No.1 & 2.

(Presence has been marked through video conferencing)


Vide this single order, above two writ petitions are being

disposed of as common issues and facts are involved therein.

2. For convenience, facts/annexures are being referred from


3. Grievance of the petitioner is that while being in service other

similarly situated faculty members are allowed to do their Ph.D, but petitioner

has been denied the same permission by adopting a discriminatory yardstick.

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4. A writ of certiorari has been sought to quash the impugned order

dated 12.10.2020 vide which respondent No.2-Institute i.e. National Institute of

Technology declined to issue an NOC to the petitioner for taking admission in

the course of Ph.D in Kurukshetra University (respondent No.2).

5. As regards the admission already taken by the petitioner in the

course of Ph.D, subject to furnishing of NOC, the same was protected by an

interim order dated 03.11.2020 passed by this Court whereby respondent

No.2/Kurukshetra University was under interim direction of this Court not to

cancel the Ph.D. seat of the petitioner. Pursuant thereto, the petitioner is

currently pursuing her Ph.D.

6. Brief fact narrative first. Respondent No.1-Institute advertised the

post of temporary faculty/Assistant Professor in the year 2017 on contract

basis. In pursuance of the advertisement, petitioner was selected and was

subsequently appointed as Assistant Professor/temporary faculty in Computer

Engineering department. As per the appointment letter, following are the terms

of appointment of the petitioner: –

“With reference to your application for the position of
Temporary Faculty in response to the advertisement
No.10/2017 of the Institute and on the recommendation of
the Selection Committee, I am pleased to inform you that
the Competent Authority of the Institute has approved your
engagement as Temporary Faculty on a consolidated
salary of Rs.40,000/- per month for a period upto the end of
the current semester and extendable further upto five
semesters depending on the performance as per
Government/Institute Norms in the Department of
Computer Engineering.

The terms and conditions of the appointment are as

1. The conditions of your service in the Institute will be
governed as per Rules as framed and amended from
time to time by the Ministry of Human Resource
Development, Government of India, New Delhi/NIT
Council/ BOG, NIT Kurukshetra.

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2. The engagement is subject to your being found
physically fit and sound in health for the service in the
3. You will be required to produce all original certificates
in respect of your academic and other qualifications
mentioned in your application form including date of
birth along with relieving letter (if applicable) at the
time of joining the position in the Establishment Section
of the Institute.
4. You will perform your duty 5 days a week. In case of
academic requirement, you have to perform duty on
Saturday/Sunday and Gazetted holidays without any
compensatory leave in lieu of this.
5. You will be granted one day’s leave on completion of
one month’s service.
6. In case you want to leave your services, you shall be
required to give one month notice or make payment of
one month salary in lieu thereof provided that the
institute may call upon you to continue until the end of
the semester in which your notice is received.
7. You will be required to devote your whole time to your
duties and perform such duties as may be assigned to
you by the Director/Head of Department from time to
8. Depending upon the availablity, you may be provided
Institute accommodation and in case of non-availability
you will have to make your own arrangement for your
9. You will be entitled to avail only the available facility in
the Health Centre of the Institute.
10. You will be governed by the Conduct and Disciplinary
Rules of the Institute.
11. You shall be governed under the NIT Act, 2007/Statutes
Rules of NIT Kurukshetra, framed and amended from
time to time relating to service conditions and any other
matters/conditions not specified in the appointment
12. If any declaration given/information furnished by you is
found to the false or if you are found to have willfully
suppressed any material information/facts, you will be
liable to be removed from service and any such other
action as the competent authority may deem necessary.

If this offer of appointment is acceptable to you on the
above terms and conditions, you are required to report for
duty on or before 11.08.2017 otherwise this offer will
automatically stand cancelled.

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7. While the petitioner was in service, respondent No.2 invited

application for taking admission in the course of Ph.D pursuant whereto the

petitioner also applied and was granted the admission. However, one of the

requirements mentioned by respondent No.2 for admission to Ph.D course was

to obtain NOC from the employer in case a candidate was in employment. This

is where trouble of the petitioner began with her employer, as the requisite

NOC was declined by respondent No.1, notwithstanding that the Kurukshetra

University where the petitioner applied for admission is situated in the vicinity

of respondent No.1/NIT. The petitioner states that there are many similar

situated persons who are working along with petitioner on similar terms and

they are also pursuing their Ph.D course work and the respondent No.1 has no

quibble with them. However, the petitioner approached the respondent No.1 for

grant of no objection certificate for taking admission in to the course of Ph.D,

no action has been taken on the requests of the petitioner till today. The details

of persons who are allegedly similarly situated to the petitioner and are being

allowed by the respondent No.1 to pursue their Ph.D course are also available

on the website of the respondent No.1/Institute but are annexed as annexure P-9


8. In return filed by Kurukshetra University, the insistence of NOC

has been emphasized on the ground that an applicant, who is in employment, as

per the Kurukshetra University Ordinance, has to submit application form

through his/her employer. In case an applicant joined service after submission

of the application form, he/she shall have to submit NOC before the


9. Whereas the defence of respondent No.1 inter alia, hinges on that

since the petitioner has been given appointment merely on a consolidated salary

of Rs.40,000/- per month, she is not entitled to get any NOC on the ground of

alleged parity sought by her with those who are working in Assured Grade Pay

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(AGP). Further the stand taken by respondent No.1 is that the study leave is

admissible only to a regular employee of the Institute. Even such an employee

can apply for admission to any course only after seeking prior permission. The

petitioner submitted her application for issuing NOC for Ph.D course on

21.09.2020. The perusal of the same clearly shows that she had already applied

in the KUK for admission in Ph.D without seeking prior permission. As it

stands, before any decision could be taken on the said application, the petitioner

filed CWP No.16198/2020 in this Hon’ble High Court. The said CWP was

disposed of vide order dated 05.10.2020 with a direction to the answering

Respondent to take appropriate decision within a week. In compliance of the

order dated 05/10/2020, the application of the petitioner was duly considered.

Finding that the petitioner being not in the regular employment of the Institute,

no NOC can be issued to her for Ph.D course and her request was declined.

10. Having heard rival contentions of the learned counsels, I am of the

view that the stand taken by respondent No.1 in its return and argued also on

the same lines flies in the face of Rule 11 of the Model Recruitment Rules For

Faculty of NITs. For ready reference, the said Rule is reproduced as under:-

“A Ph.D degree shall be the minimum qualification
for a regular faculty position in NIT. Candidates
with M.Tech decrees may be appointed as Assistant
Professors, on contract basis only. The Institutes will
strive to provide necessary facilities to such contract
faculty to complete their own Ph.D either within the
Institutes (If facilities exist) or outside. Any
deficiency in extension of such facility, however, will
not be a ground for award of regular post without a
Ph.D degree.

11. A perusal of the above would show that it is self incumbent on the

institute to strive to provide necessary facilities to such contract faculty to

complete their own Ph.D either within the institute, if facility exists, or outside.

That being the position, it is rather intriguing that the petitioner is not being

granted the requisite NOC. As regards, the defence that she is not entitled to the

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study leave that is entirely a separate cause of action. Qua study leave, as and

when occasion arises, the competent authority shall deal with the same in

accordance with law, in case the petitioner seeks any such study leave.

12. To be also noted that, a perusal of the terms of the appointment as

per the appointment letter read with employee Rules of the NIT would show

that neither is there any prohibition in the appointment letter nor in the Model

Rules framed by the NIT for its Faculty to pursue higher education. In fact on

the contrary, as already noted, Rule 11A of Model Recruitment Rules for

Faculty of NIT encourages the faculty members to improve their higher

qualification by pursuing the same as far as availability of seats in the NIT

itself, if available, if not then they have also been given the choice to pursue the

same outside the NIT. Insipid distinction between an employee who is on

consolidated salary as the petitioner herein with the one who is on Assured

Grade Pay (AGP) is neither mentioned in the Model Rules nor even otherwise

is legally sustainable. The same seems to have been brought out to defend the

untenable position in declining the permission to the petitioner to pursue her

Ph.D without there being any legal basis qua the same.

13. Accordingly, the writ petition is allowed, impugned order dated

12.10.2020 is quashed and respondent No.1 is directed to issue NOC in favour

of the petitioner.

14. In the parting, I may also hasten to add that during the

interregnum of the pendency of petition before this Court, respondent

No.1-University vide a letter/notification dated 25.2.2021 has on its own

relaxed the condition of seeking NOC for the prospective candidates. In the

premises, I see no reason why similar benefit be not accorded to the petitioner

herein. Once the University itself is not insisting for the same for the

prospective students, it is expected that those who have taken the admission in

the previous academic session should not be put to any hostile discrimination.

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There is no reasonable basis for the University to insist for NOC for the last

academic session once it has waived the same for the next academic session

and onwards. Waiver of insisting for NOC from the employer is rather a

laudable step taken by Kuurukshetra University in the healthy spirit that neither

an employer should act oppressively, so as to stop an employee to pursue

higher studies for improving on his/her career prospective, nor even University

should create unnecessary hindrance in the right of a citizen to improve his/her

education. Every citizen has a right to education himself/herself for his/her

better accomplishments, provided of course, he/she is otherwise competent and

meritorious to do so. (ARUN MONGA)
05.04.2021 JUDGE
Whether speaking/reasoned: Yes/No
Whether reportable: Yes/No

For Subsequent orders see RA-CW-113-2021 Decided by HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE ARUN MONGA
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