KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Monday dismissed the petition filed by A V George, former Vice-chancellor of the Mahatma Gandhi University, challenging the order of the Kerala Governor removing him from the post for misrepresenting his qualification.
Justice A K Jayasankran Nambiar observed that the court was shocked and surprised by the indifferent and irresponsible manner in which the petitioner had purposed his application for appointment to what is undoubtedly a prestigious post in academic circles. It is ‘settled proposition of law’ that where an applicant gets an office by misrepresenting facts or by playing fraud upon the competent authority, such an order cannot be sustained in the eye of law.
The appointment obtained by the petitioner, having been found to be vitiated on account of the misrepresentation by him, was necessarily ‘voidable’ at the option of the employer.
The action of the Chancellor in annulling the appointment was therefore legally valid and wholly justified. The court observed that the office of MGU Vice-chancellor is of significant importance in the scheme of university-level education in the state. The MGU Act describes him as the principal academic and executive officer of the varsity having administrative control over all the other officers of the varsity. The manner of his appointment and the elaborate procedure by which he can be removed form office, as stipulated in MGU Act, indicate the exalted position he occupied in the academic circles. The petitioner was afforded an opportunity of hearing before Chancellor. Later, when there was change of incumbent in the office of the chancellor, he was given a further opportunity of hearing.
The Justice said that on a perusal of the order and files, “I am convinced that the decision of the Chancellor was the one that was independently arrived and not legally vitiated.”