The Kerala High Court bench of Justice A. Muhamed Mustaque provided relief to the Assistant professor of Central University of Kerala, Mr Prasad Pannian, suspended for posting a criticism of the University’s action against a student by ordering re-instatement.
A suspension order was issued against Pannian, appointed as Head of the Department of English and Comparative Literature in the CUK, stating that he had criticized the decisions of the University and published his comments in social media in regard to the legal action taken by the University against one Ganthoti Nagaraju, a Ph.D student of the University who was arrested by the police on some matter. Pannian was of the view that the matter should have been settled in the campus itself and it should not have been resulted in criminalization of a young student. The suspension order further specifies that apart from the publication of criticism, concerned HOD has also indulged in wrong behavior and attitude with the colleagues’ citing various complaints.
The Court however, observed that posting and publication of matters online has become a platform for formulation of opinions and has become a matter of concern for public authorities. Further advancing that, it can only be held under such circumstances that the post contained healthy criticism and not as detrimental to the collective interest of the University as contended thus, reinstating the petitioner as Head of the Department forthwith.