BANGALORE: Two powerful politicians are making a pitch for an indicted professor to be appointed as the registrar of Bangalore University. On May 28, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah sent a note to the Higher Education Department, recommending Prof R K Somashekar, former registrar (administration) of Bangalore University, for the post of registrar in one of two universities: Bangalore or Mysore. Somashekar is accused of appointing blacklisted custodians, thereby encouraging corruption, and indicted for not sharing consultancy revenue with the university, as stipulated. “Yes, we have received a note from the chief minister to this effect,” a departmental source told Express. The file is now with the principal secretary to higher education. “The department has said it cannot appoint him to Bangalore University, as it has filed two cases against him, one in the High Court and another in the Supreme Court,” a source said.
The state government constituted a commission of inquiry on September 25, 2013, to look into charges against Somashekar. Prof M I Savadatti, former vicechancellor of Mangalore University, was appointed inquiry officer, and submitted a report to the state government in March this year. The government forwarded the report to Bangalore University and directed it to act against Somashekar.
Meanwhile, the university Syndicate decided to seek an explanation from Somashekar before initiating action. The matter will come up at a Syndicate meeting on June 25.
“It is shocking that the Chief Minister has recommended his name when action is pending,” said a senior professor who has served as registrar.
Another senior professor said such a recommendation was “unheard of”.
Will He Make It?
With cases related to irregularities in Bangalore University pending before the High Court and the Supreme Court, the government cannot appoint Somashekar to the university.
Mysore University may not be a realistic option either. Prof K S Rangappa, vice-chancellor of that university, is not willing to welcome him. “He may see him as a rival as they belong to the same community,” an official said.