Punjabi University VC sends Rs. 20 crore defamation notice to MLA Jalalpur
Patiala, November 27, 2021: Punjabi University Vice Chancellor Prof. Arvind has sent a legal notice for defamation of Rs. 20 crore to Congress MLA Madan Lal Jalalpur for his outburst at an official function in University where Chief Minister Charanjit Channi was also present.
Notice sent through his lawyer Harchand Singh Batth called upon Jalalpur to tender your unconditional public apology to VC in writing and also through print, electronic and social media and to pay a sum of Rs. 20,00,00,000/- (Rs. Twenty Crores only) as damages for injury/loss of reputation & honour and for suffering mental torture, agony and social trauma, within a period of 15 days from the date of receipt of this legal notice.
Read copy of complete notice below :
Madan Lal Jalalpur,
MLA, Ghanaur Constituency,
R/o House No.22, Ward No. 6,
Ghanaur, Tehsil Rajpura,
Sub:- LEGAL NOTICE, INTER ALIA, FOR CRIMINAL AND CIVIL DEFAMATION REGARDING MAKING DEFAMATORY REMARKS AND FOR TENDERING UNCONDITIONAL PUBLIC APOLOGY.
I have been instructed and authorized by my client Prof. Arvind, Vice-Chancellor, Punjabi University, Patiala to issue you this legal notice against the defamatory, patently false and vexatious remarks made by you against him on 24.1121 in an official function held in the campus of Punjabi University, Patiala, whose reputation is gravely tarnished, lowered and adversely affected by your direct defamatory verbal attack, as under:-
1. That my client is a well-known theoretical Quantum Physicist with a keen interest in Science Education, Science Communication and Developing Science Pedagogy in Punjabi. At present my client is the Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Patiala and is on deputation from IISER (Indian Institute of Science Education & Research) Mohali, where he is a Professor of Physics. My client did his M.Sc. in Physics from IIT Kanpur and obtained his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from the Department of Physics and Centre for Theoretical Studies, at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore in 1997. My client then joined the Physics department of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar as a faculty member. From 2002 to 2004, my client was a special faculty at the Physics Department of Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA. My client joined the Physics department of Indian Institute of Technology Madras as a faculty member in 2005. In August 2007, he moved to IISER Mohali as one of the founding faculty members and helped in setting up the institute. My client has held several administrative positions at IISER Mohali, including Dean (Research), Dean (Students), Head Computer Centre, Coordinator Outreach, and Officiating Director. My client has received the INSA medal for Young Scientists 2000. My client is the National Coordinator of Theme-1 (Photonics) of the National Multi-Institutional Networked Programme on Quantum Enabled Science and Technology (QuST) which was launched by the Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi in 2018 with a total budget of around Rs 300/- Crores. My client is also a member of the DPR drafting committee for the National Mission on Quantum Technologies and Applications (NMQTA). My client is the lead scientist in one of the prominent groups working in quantum information in the country and has established a large research group on quantum information and quantum cryptography at IISER Mohali with several PhD students, postdoctoral researchers and masters students working under my client. My client has organized two international conferences on Quantum Foundations, Technologies and Applications (2019 and 2020) at IISER Mohali and also organized a consultative meeting for the NMQTA in 2019 at IISER Mohali. My client has over 70 publications in international journals and has supervised around 7 PhD students and over 40 MS Theses. His current research interests encompass quantum information theory and foundations of quantum mechanics. My client is keenly involved in contributing to education, especially in the context of teaching of science in schools as well as universities. My client dedicates time in designing experiments for physics education and has been working on developing new pedagogical tools for teaching science. My client has also acted in the capacity of a resource person for several academic refresher courses for the teaching of science at the undergraduate and post graduate levels. Through various platforms such as television panel discussions, newspaper articles, social media and seminars. My client has been drawing attention towards the major problems in the educational system of India. My client is a vocal supporter of integrating pure sciences with disciplines of social sciences, as well as in linking all levels of education, be it primary, secondary or higher education, and emphases the need for linking science with society. My client has called for the integration of science with culture, contextualization of science in the milieu in which it is taught, and brings a focus on decentralization of education and curriculum.
My client was a coordinator at a three-day Seminar held in 2018 at IISER Mohali on Science and Science Education in Punjabi. My client has also drawn attention to the problem of science education being limited to elite institutes and universities and advocates bringing it to the common people. He was an expert on the panel discussion at the Indo-German Symposium on Science Communication titled ’Bringing Science to the People’ in 2017 at NIPER Mohali. My client has also been vocal about educational policies and their relation to public welfare. My client has called for placing initiatives in science education in the backdrop of higher education in general and education at large on both theoretical and practical basis along with higher education. My client draws attention to the issues of public school education as well. My client has been paying visits to the government schools in Punjab and communicating with the in-service teachers there. He has been vocal about improvements in student-teacher ratio, pedagogical innovations, institutional policy in science education, better evaluation strategies, problems in recognizing merit and tapping talent, dwindling status of teachers in the community and broadening the notion of literacy and science education.
2. That from the above-mentioned brief introduction about the achievements and standings of my client, it is clear that he is an eminent professor, well qualified in his field, well known for his works and contribution and he is highly respected intellectual, a prominent and acclaimed educationist, a distinguished and renowned face in the academic field, social circles and society at large in India and abroad. Throughout his academic career and years of professionalism and excellence in different streams of study and for his knowledge and intellectual prowess, my client garnered an immense amount of goodwill and reputation, matched by only a few others in this field. My client commands a good reputation in the society in India and abroad. Due to the esteemed position of my client, he is a visible media personality and often highly praised in the electronic, print and social media for his excellent work as Vice-Chancellor of prestigious institutions i.e. Punjabi University, Patiala.
3. That on 24.11.2021, a function was organized by the Punjabi University, Patiala in its campus and my client was the main organizer of the said function. The Honorable Chief Minister Punjab, Sh. Charanjit Singh Channi, was the Chief Guest, Sh. Manpreet Singh Badal, The Finance Minister, Punjab, Sh. Krishan Kumar, Secretary, Higher Education, prominent dignitaries of the district administration, Patiala, senior officials of the said university, teaching staff, non-teaching staff and students were present in the hall. When the Hon’ble Chief Minister and Finance Minister were addressing the press conference in the Senate Hall of the University, in the presence of senior university officials and other large number of people, then to the utter shock and dismay of my client, you the abovementioned addressee, entered the hall and started creating high voltage drama pointing towards my client loudly said that “The Vice Chancellor is a RSS ‘man’, he has been appointed by the CM” You have repeated the same false and frivolous allegations in a loud voice, which was audile and visible to everyone present in the Senate Hall. You created a lot of ruckus and nuisance in the said function by your totally unwarranted, unjustified and highly defamatory conduct and remarks in the presence of high dignities, participants and the print and electronic media. You did not desist from uttering highly defamatory remarks and gestures towards my client despite intervention of the dignitaries to stop you from indulging such reckless, deplorable and defamatory behaviour on your part being yourself a responsible representative of the people being an MLA and not to spoil the atmosphere and the smooth running of the function and create nuisance.
4. That when you were indulging in the aforesaid abhorrent behaviour and creating scene and attacking the dignity of my client, your entire act and conduct was recorded by the media present at the spot and the people present in the function on their mobile phones. The videos/clippings of the occurrence immediately went viral on electronic and social media. The entire occurrence/story was also covered by the print media in the region, country and abroad in their publications of the next day i.e. 25.11.2021. My client has the proof/evidence of such video clips as well as the newspaper coverage.
5. That it would be relevant to make it very clear that my client has no concern, whatsoever, with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). My client further would like to make it clear that he has no connection with the political front of the RSS i.e. BJP or any other frontal/affiliated of RSS in any manner, whatsoever. It is further pertinent to mention here that my client is not a member of any political party. You have also alleged that my client has been appointed by CM, while the fact is that my client has been selected and appointed purely on merit by following proper procedure and without any favour. These allegations or absolutely rubbish, false and frivolous and without any basis. My client is fully engaged in academic research and work to promote scientific education among the students especially for the development and growth of the students of rural, poor and backward areas and of the girl students i.e. students belonging to underprivileged and socially and economically deprived sections of society.
6. That you by levelling above mentioned absolutely false and baseless allegations against my client being a `man’ of RSS have defamed my client by connecting him with the said particular organization i.e. RSS. Thus, you, by using express and clear words as gestures as stated above have lowered the dignity, status and reputation of my client in the eyes of his nears and dears, academic circle, general public and society at large in India and abroad.
7. That my client was highly shocked and stunned upon hearing and witnessing your aforesaid absolutely false and baseless uttering and imputations against him in the said function. Due to the said allegations and imputations made by you against my client without any tinge or spec of truth therein and purely engineered on malice on your part, my client suffered immense mental agony and torture. Furthermore, my client felt much humiliated in the society and the image of my client was tarnished and lowered in the eyes of Hon’ble Chief Minister, Finance Minister, Secretary, Higher Education and all the dignitaries, the staff of the university and the public at large. Your said imputations have deeply harmed the reputation of my client among all the circles and public at large, due to the defamatory remarks made by you openly and publicly as mentioned above.
8. That you have committed the said act of defamation knowingly and intentionally with clear intention to harm, damage and lower the status, reputation and dignity of my client, for the reasons best known to you. You were very much aware having full knowledge that my client has no connection, whatsoever with RSS or any of its affiliated bodies or frontal organization and also that my client is not member of any political party. You were fully aware that the whole life of my client is dedicated in the growth and development of education, especially in the field of science.
9. That your extremely callous and reckless verbal attack on my client has unearthed your malicious intent to belittle the reputation of my client in the eyes of society and general public. It was specifically calculated and targeted move to malign and ridicule the fair and high name of my client. Your malevolent act has resulted in defamation of my client, which immensely harmed his reputation and lowered the image/ intellectual character of my client in the estimation of the society.
10. That my client has long-standing public life and he interacts with numerous people across various sections of society, including inter alia professors, senior officers, lawyers, journalists, dignitaries, foreign delegates, academicians etc. By your action, the reputation and respect of my client, has been lowered down in the eyes of all those people.
11. That ongoing viral on social, electronic and print media, many people contacted my client and told him that they have been shocked to know that you are a man of RSS and they expressed their dismay and surprise and wondering, if he was an explicit political affiliation with the RSS. My client has suffered and is still suffering tremendous and immense mental, agony and social trauma, due to your aforesaid act and conduct.
12. That though my client has clearly denied having any connection with RSS to the people, raising serious doubts about the credentials and integrity of my client after the said occurrence, but it is not humanly possible for him to clarify and give explanation to each and every person in this regard. You have caused such a serious blow and dint to the dignity and reputation of my client and lowered and tarnished his image that my client would never be able to get back and recover his lost image and reputation, which had been built by him with dint of hard work throughout his career.
13. That the above-mentioned imputations against my client made by you knowing it to be totally false with an intention to defame my client gives rise to civil liability for damages against you to compensate my client for loss of his reputation and image and lowering his dignity and in addition to that your above said illegal act attracts penal provisions under the Indian Penal Code. My client reserves all his rights to initiate criminal action against you using the due process of law, apart from and in addition to civil remedy, and other remedies, statutory or otherwise in India and abroad and also at any place where your above said defamatory remarks published or telecast in any form of media including print media etc.
14. That through the instant legal notice for defamation, you are hereby called upon to tender your unconditional public apology to my client in writing and also through print, electronic and social media and to pay a sum of Rs. 20,00,00,000/- (Rs. Twenty Crores only) as damages for injury/loss of reputation & honour and for suffering mental torture, agony and social trauma, within a period of 15 days from the date of receipt of this legal notice. In case of your failure to do so I have clear instructions from my client to initiate appropriate legal proceedings both civil and criminal against you before the Competent Court of law and in that eventuality, you would be responsible for all sorts of costs and consequences thereof.
A copy of this legal notice is retained in my office for record and further necessary action.
Harchand Singh Batth