Here's why visually impaired DU professor fined over Rs 7 lakh for hostel overstay moved Delhi HC again

Professor Atreja moved the Delhi High Court for the second time against DU, when the varsity deducted Rs 33,885 from her monthly salary, in order to recover the penalty
The Delhi High Court said that “no coercive action will be taken against the professor until the next hearing”
The Delhi High Court said that “no coercive action will be taken against the professor until the next hearing”(Image: EdexLive Desk)

“I was shaken,” said Professor Sharmishtha Atreja, an Assistant Professor at Delhi University’s (DU) Department of Philosophy with 100 per cent visual impairment, who was fined over Rs 6 lakh for ‘overstaying’ at a hostel facility, meaning, staying beyond her tenure as a resident tutorship.

Professor Atreja moved the Delhi High Court for the second time against DU, when the university deducted Rs 33,885 from her monthly salary, in order to recover the penalty.

The Delhi High Court, on Tuesday, July 2, said that “no coercive action will be taken against the professor until the next hearing”, which has been scheduled for October 1.

As EdexLive reported earlier, Professor Atreja had moved the high court when the university issued a notice to the professor demanding to vacate her allotted residence.

In February 2024, the high court directed the university to take a “sympathetic” view of the situation considering that the petitioner is 100% visually impaired.

However, despite the high court’s verdict in her favour, she was slapped with a hefty fine of around Rs 7 lakh for overstaying her tenure.

The university, in their letter, said that the penalty had been reduced by 50 per cent from Rs 13 lakh and that the amount would be adjusted from her monthly pay.

“It is not about finances, it is about dignity. While the university said that it would review the fine, there has been no communication from their end so far. I was not given any notice about the deduction either. It is not a small amount, considering that I am the only one earning in my family,” Professor Sharmishtha Atreja said, speaking to EdexLive.

The petitioner has argued that under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, the administration was bound to provide a reasonable accommodation to her.

The Delhi High Court said that “no coercive action will be taken against the professor until the next hearing”
DU: Timeline of visually-impaired professor fined Rs 7 lakh for hostel overstay

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