The Joint Charity Commissioner, Maharashtra, Dilip M Deshmukh, has dismissed MN Navale from the post of president and trustee of Sinhgad Technical Education Society (STES) on grounds of moral turpitude.
Deshmukh in his order dated January 21 has taken suo moto action under Section 41D (1)(f) of the Maharashtra Public Trusts Act, 1950. When contacted, the STES management declined to comment on the order.
STES which claims on its website to have at least 7,000 employees, 85 institutes, 26 schools and 70,000 students, has been in turmoil in the past few years over non-payment of salaries to its staff.
Deshmukh’s order states that Navale faced suo moto criminal contempt petition under which the Bombay High Court directed him to undergo seven days simple imprisonment and fine. He has noted in his order that Navale had been convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude.
Pointing out that the STES runs various colleges with thousands of students, Deshmukh said that Navale was expected to conduct himself in a moral, exemplary manner. However, Navale, “due to his conduct” faced contempt petition and had undergone seven days imprisonment and “by his own act destroyed his image”.
He was, therefore, dismissed as president and trustee of Sinhagad Technical Education Society on grounds of moral turpitude, Deshmukh said in his order.
On September 2018, Nitin Karmalkar, Vice-Chancellor of Savitribai Phule Pune University had written to the charity commissioner on behalf of protesting staff members to intervene in the issue and resolve the matter.
Welcoming the decision, Sachin Shinde, a former faculty at STES engineering college, said, “The decision to terminate MN Navale exhibits the fact that nobody is above the law. STES should take lessons from this incident and settle all the problems at the earliest.” He said that the staff members will continue to protest till they get their salaries and till their pending issues are resolved.