Fresh petitions in HC by VCs of universities in Kerala challenging Governor's show-cause notice
In the show cause notice, the governor had asked the VCs to explain what legal right they have to hold the office after the Supreme Court recently quashed the appointment of VC.
Published: 02nd November 2022 11:35 AM | Last Updated: 02nd November 2022 11:35 AM | A+A A-
KOCHI: The Kannur University Vice Chancellor and other VCs of universities in Kerala on Wednesday approached the High Court seeking to set aside the latest show-cause notice issued by Governor Arif Mohammad Khan.
In the show cause notice, the governor had asked the VCs to explain what legal right they have to hold the office after the Supreme Court recently quashed the appointment of VC of APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University for being contrary to University Grants Commission (UGC)norms. The notice also stated that on failure to show cause, the Chancellor may declare the appointment of VCs as illegal and 'ab initio void'.
The petitioners submitted that the notice was without authority and was liable to be set aside by the High Court.
Dr Gopinath Ravindran, vice chancellor of Kannur University submitted that his re-appointment was challenged before the High Court and a Division Bench upheld the decision. Hence, he is holding the post after thorough legal scrutiny. Hence, the Chancellor, who is only a statutory authority, cannot adjudicate the legality or otherwise of his appointment, which is being now examined by the Supreme Court in a Civil appeal.
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The recent judgment of the Supreme Court has nothing to do with the allegation that his appointment is void. In the KTU case, the Supreme Court found that the selection committee itself was constituted in violation of the UGC Regulation. In the present case, the VC's appointment of Kannur University was in 2017 by a selection committee constituted as per the Kannur University Act.
The show-cause issued to the Kannur University VC stated that the search committee had a non-academician -- the Chief Secretary of state, which is contrary to UGC Regulation. It was also stated that the reappointment is also on the basis of a single-name panel recommended by the state government. Hence, the Chancellor has found that his appointment and reappointment are contrary to UGC Regulation in accordance with the Supreme Court's order in the KTU case.