Pune: Will reinstate unvaccinated staffer and review policy for others, Symbiosis University tells Bombay HC

The Symbiosis Society, Pune on Friday assured the Bombay High Court that it will reinstate one of its unvaccinated employees who was asked to go on unpaid leave till he produced a vaccine certificate and reimburse his dues. The society also said that it will review its Covid-19 vaccination mandate for employees.

A division bench of Justice Anil K Menon and Justice Nitin R Borkar accepted the society’s statement and also passed an order dealing with a question of compensation to the said employee from the month of January till date and disposed of the plea.

Subrata Mazumdar, an employee at Symbiosis Centre for International Education (SCIE), had moved the high court, challenging a communication issued by the university this year asking employees, who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19, to go on unpaid leave till they produce vaccine certificates.

Mazumdar, who had joined the institution in 2005 and now works as a supervisor, said that vaccination cannot be made mandatory, and therefore, the institution’s action must be declared illegal.

As per his plea filed through advocates Animesh Jadhav, Vasant Kumar Takke and S N More, Mazumdar said that he, along with other employees, had received an email from the director of Symbiosis Society, Symbiosis International (Deemed University) in Pune, seeking compliance with Covid-19 vaccination norms. However, he responded expressing his inability to get vaccinated due to personal health conditions.

On January 20, the employees again received an email from the human resources department of the university, asking them to go on leave without pay with immediate effect till they can provide documentary evidence of vaccination.

This prompted Mazumdar to approach the high court with a plea against the university director and dean of administration and academics, seeking that his services be reinstated and a directive be issued that the January 20 communication be declared as illegal and unconstitutional.

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