HC notice to Delhi govt, IHBAS over extension of director’s tenure

The Delhi high court on Wednesday sought the response of the Delhi government and the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS) on a plea challenging the extension of tenure granted to IHBAS director NG Desai after he attained the age of 65 years.

A bench of chief justice DN Patel and justice Jyoti Singh issued a notice to the Delhi government and IHBAS, seeking their stand on the petition by a former employee of the institute.

The petitioner, Tej Bahadur Singh, has said the present director of the institute was appointed to the post in 2016 for five years, or up to the age of 65 years, whichever came first. According to Singh, Desai turned 65 in October 2020 and, thus, he cannot continue as director without the lieutenant governor approving the extension of tenure.

Singh claimed that when he had attained the age of 62 in 2012, and had sought an extension from IHBAS, he was told that no person can be permitted to remain in service beyond the superannuation age as fixed under the rules.

Therefore, a different yardstick cannot be applied in case of the present director, he contended.

The plea has sought the quashing of all decisions, including the appointment of joint director (administration), taken by Desai after he turned 65.

The plea also sought an interim direction prohibiting Desai from taking any administrative decisions during pendency of the petition. However, the bench refused to pass any such order.

It has further sought directions to the Delhi government to hand over post of director of IHBAS to the head of a government hospital till a new director is appointed.

Appearing for IHBAS, advocate Tushar Sannu told the court that the petitioner was a former employee and, therefore, had a personal interest in the matter.

The matter would be now heard on January 29.

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