'Resolve the issue amicably or else we'll intervene,' SC tells WB govt, governor on row over appointment of VCs

The government had given a list of fifteen candidates for appointment as VCs for fifteen universities. However, the Chancellor found seven persons out of this list to be unsuitable, and the rest were not considered.
Representative Image.
Representative Image.

NEW DELHI: As the ongoing row between the West Bengal government and Governor C V Ananda Bose came knocking at its doors, the Supreme Court warned both the parties to resolve the issue relating to appointing VCs amicably between them, or else the court would have to intervene.

"Please try to resolve your (State Government VS Governor) differences, amicably, in appointing VCs, else, we will come in picture and appoint," a two-judge bench of the top court led by Justice Surya Kant and comprising Justice KV Vishwanathan said.

The apex court made these remarks, after hearing a Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by the State govt challenging the June 2023 judgment of the Calcutta High Court upholding the interim vice-chancellor appointments made by the State Governor, in 13 universities, in his capacity as the chancellor of the institutions.

The Supreme Court on April 17 had directed West Bengal Governor C V Ananda Bose, who is also the chancellor of state-run universities, to appoint six suitable persons as vice-chancellors from a list of candidates provided by the state government within a period of 7 days.

The Attorney General (AG) R Venkataramani, the top law officer of the Union of India (UOI) appearing for the chancellor, in one of its hearings in the apex court had submitted to it that he has approved six names from the list sent by the TMC's Mamata Banerjee government. But so far, the entire appointment process in the state Universities have not fructified fully.

During the hearing on Friday, the top court was informed that the State Government had given a list of fifteen candidates for appointment as VCs for fifteen universities. However, the Chancellor found seven persons out of this list to be unsuitable, and the rest were not considered.

The top court had also indicated that if an amicable solution to the tussle between the parties was not reached soon in the matter, then the bench might consider in setting up a search committee to shortlist candidates for appointment as vice-chancellors in the remaining state-run universities.

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