MADURAI: In a landmark verdict, the Madras High Court (Madurai Bench) on Thursday set aside the appointment of Kalyani Mathivanan as Vice Chancellor of the Madurai Kamaraj University holding that she did not possess the qualifications prescribed by the University Grants Commission for Vice Chancellors.
This is the first time in the history of Tamil Nadu that the appointment of a Vice Chancellor has been quashed by a court. In the past, only one Vice Chancellor has been suspended by the State government.
Saving the Governor-Chancellor from embarrassment over the selection of Kalyani, the court gave him and the Vice Chancellor search committee the benefit of doubt in clearing her name for appointment saying they could have merely gone by her claims on qualifications in the bio-data. Kalyani’s appointment was challenged by two petitioners — K V Jeyaraj and I Ismail — on the grounds that she had not held the post of professor for a period of 10 years as mandated by the UGC Regulations. Besides, in her application, she had falsely claimed to be a professor, although she was only an associate professor at Ethiraj College for Women in Chennai.
In a scathing observation, a bench, comprising justices V Ramasubramanian and V M Velumani, said, “If we accept the contention (of Kalyani) that the educational qualifications and eligibility criteria prescribed in the UGC Regulations 2010, are not applicable for the post of Vice Chancellor, then anyone without any qualifications whatsoever, can also be appointed.”