Govt May Help in Finally Ending Dispute Between IIT-D & Swamy

The two parties have been fighting over salary dues reportedly owed to Swamy for the past 45 years. 

2 min read
File image of Subramanian Swamy. 

A decades-old dispute between IIT-Delhi and its former staffer and now BJP MP, Subramanian Swamy, may finally be resolved due to the intervention of the Narendra Modi government.

According to a report by The Indian Express, the two parties, who have been fighting over certain salary dues that Swamy says is owed to him, may now opt for an out-of-court settlement.

The decision to come to some sort of settlement seems to have taken place at the behest of the Human Resource Development Ministry, who reportedly wrote to IIT-Delhi, stating that Swamy’s case did not fall under Fundamental Rule 54 or FR 54 of the Union government.

What Was the Dispute Regarding?

According to The Indian Express report, Swamy had joined IIT-Delhi as a teacher back in 1971. However, he had been removed by the institute, saying that his appointment was “illegal” considering he was, at that point of time, on probation.

Swamy had later taken the matter to court and had it rule in his favour. He later even rejoined the institute on 27 March 1991 but resigned on the same day, demanding that it pay him his salary dues for the period between 1972 and 1991– which was when he had been sacked.

Although IIT-Delhi had agreed to pay the dues, it cited FR 54, which demanded the details of his earnings from Harvard University, where he had taught around the same time. 

Responding to this, Swamy in turn said that his absence from the University should be considered as “Extraordinary Leave” (EOL), which meant that he was not expected to disclose his earnings from anywhere else, the report adds.

Considering that the institute had decided to stick by its demand regardless, the matter was pending in court, and former HRD Minister Kapil Sibal had in 2010, upheld the institute’s stand.

What is Happening Now?

When the new government came to power in 2014, Smriti Irani had reportedly reached out to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), to try and determine whether Swamy’s case came under FR 54 of General Financial Rules and Service Rules.

The DoPT in turn stated that the institute was not bound by any government rule, and as a result, the matter was transferred to the jurisdiction of the institute, which set up a Board of Governors (BoG) who set up a committee to look into it. However, it later stated that it would wait for the court’s decision.

The matter will now be discussed in the next meeting of the BoG. Considering that the HRD Ministry’s latest letter to the institute carries the approval of HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar, who is also the IIT Council-Chairman, the verdict could go any which way, the report concludes.

(With inputs from The Indian Express)

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