Kerala HC On Univ Row

Kerala HC On Univ Row: All 9 VCs May Continue Till Final Order

Kerala HC On Univ Row

The Kerala High Court on Monday held that all nine Vice Chancellors of various universities can continue in their positions until the Chancellor issues a final order following show-cause notices to them earlier on Monday.

The court also made it clear that the petitioners will be eligible to continue in their positions however in full compliance with law and regulations till such time the Chancellor issues a final order.

A special sitting was held today in this regard.

This comes after the nine VCs approached the High Court challenging the Governor’s order to tender their resignations. The Raj Bhavan had earlier sent letters directing the VCs of nine universities to tender their resignation by 11:30 am on October 24.

The court observed while dictating the order that, “the vitiating factors become attached to the petitioners, their appointment does not become untenable from October 24, 2022, but from abi initio and I cannot understand how the Chancellor could have watered it down.”

“A proper enquiry and thought have to be invested particularly when petitioners have specific cases to their factual scenarios. The argument of the petitioners that the Chancellor cannot issue a show cause notice is also left open and all the remedies of the petitioners to even impugn the same are left open. Every issue, be that the competence and jurisdiction of the Chancellor, is left open,” it added.

Earlier today, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan issued notices to the Vice Chancellors of the state universities concerned to show cause by 5 pm on or before November 3 on their legal right to continue in office.

“Notices issued to the Vice Chancellors concerned to show cause by 5 pm on or before Nov 3rd, their legal right to continue in office as Vice Chancellors and not to declare their appointment illegal and void ab initio: PRO, Kerala Raj Bhavan,” tweeted the Kerala Governor.

“For the purpose of removing the anomaly in the appointment of Vice Chancellors in the University of Kerala, the Hon’ble Chancellor has asked you to submit your resignation to initiate steps for making a proper appointment in accordance with the law. Since you have refused to tender your resignation as directed by the Hon’ble Chancellor, there is no option but to declare your appointment as illegal and void ab initio,” a letter attached to the tweet said.

Addressing a press conference, the Governor referred to the alleged heckling during an event hosted by Kannur University in December 2019.

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Monday said that he had called the VC of Kannur University a “criminal” to “facilitate an attack” on him.

“I called (Kannur) VC criminal. I will say sorry if you find me a substitute word. What other word should I use for a person who invites me to Kannur to facilitate an attack on me? Vice-Chancellor of Kannur University, after the Kannur incident, wrote back to Raj Bhavan that I’m (VC) not a security expert, so can’t give a report,” Khan said.

He said that the VC violated the approved programme and guidelines.

“You invite me there, violate the approved programme, and violate every guideline. When you are asked to send the report of what happened there, you send this reply. Only a conspirator can do that. Who else can do it?” he said.

The Governor alleged that the political secretary of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was seen in the audience during his programme two years back at the university where he was “inciting” them to raise slogans.

“The political secretary of the Chief Minister, who was supposed to be on the stage, was there in the audience inciting them to raise slogans. I could have used even stronger language because they indulged in unlawful activities,” he said.

“How many judgements has the court issued in which it has said that I have exceeded my power in recent days? Who else exceeds his power if not a criminal?” Khan added.

This comes after Kannur University Vice-Chancellor Gopinath Ravindran on Monday said that he will not tender his resignation.

“I have received the decision of Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan but I will not submit my resignation. The resignation of the VC is based either on financial irregularities or bad behaviour and neither of these has happened here. This is a fake accusation,” said Kannur University Vice-Chancellor said on Monday.

This comes after the Supreme Court set aside the appointment of MS Rajasree as Vice-Chancellor of the APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University, Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala.

A bench of justices MR Shah and CT Ravikumar allowed the appeal filed by Professor Sreejith P.S. challenging the Kerala High Court order dated August 2, 2021.

As per the UGC Regulations also, the Visitor/Chancellor shall appoint the Vice Chancellor out of the panel of names recommended by the Search Committee. Therefore, when only one name was recommended and the panel of names was not recommended, the Chancellor had no option to consider the names of the other candidates, the top court observed. (ANI)

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