KOTTAYAM:In the wake of Mahatma Gandhi University Vice Chancellor Babu Sebastian’s order to close down the off-campus centres outside the varsity’s territorial jurisdiction, the coordinators of all the 133 off-campus centres under the varsity would convene a meeting in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday to discuss the legal options to tide over the situation.
According to sources, the co-ordinators are planning to take up the issue before a Division Bench of the Kerala High Court, citing that a 2006 Supreme Court judgment had legalised the functioning of the off-campus centres, with the consent of the state government. “We will seek the assistance of the expert advocates to take up the case in the Division Bench. We also expect the support from the university syndicate, which had in its previous meeting decided to go for a legal battle against the directive of the Higher Education Secretary to close down the off-campus centres outside the territorial jurisdiction,” said an official on condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, resentment is brewing among the syndicate members for not consulting them while the VC took a decision to close down the centres in compliance with the direction of the Governor and Chancellor of the university P Sathasivam. “Since a vast majority of members in the syndicate resolved not to close down the centres in the previous meeting, the VC could have made telephonic consultation with the persons concerned, at least with the chairman of the self-financing committee,” said P K Somasekharan Unny, a syndicate member.
At the same time, Prof Sunny K George, one among the two syndicate members who dissented in the syndicate’s resolution, said that the Supreme Court order will not come to the help of the closed off-campus centres as it clearly says that off-campus centres can function only when there is no objection from the state government. “In this case, it is the state government, which has sent a clear communication to close down the centres outside its territorial jurisdiction and there is no legal option to challenge the order,” he said.