HYDERABAD: The High Court on Monday granted relief to professor Gali Vinod Kumar, an independent candidate contesting Warangal Lok Sabha byelection by permitting him to contest the election and do electioneering.
Osmania University, however, claimed that the court had not permitted him to contest the election and stuck to its stand that Vinod Kumar’s application for permission to contest had not been approved by the university.
University registrar E Suresh Kumar, talking with Express, said, “University rules do not allow Vinod Kumar or any other working employee to contest any election. He must resign from his job if he has to contest elections.” He, however, said the university would not initiate any action against him as per the court orders.
In the past, the OU had granted permission to Prof. K.Nageshwar to contest the Malkajgiri Lok Sabha seat. But the registrar claimed that, university rules were not followed while granting him permission and the matter would be looked into.
While the university is in no mood to grant him relief, Vinod Kumar blamed the state government for the confusion. He blamed chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao for university’s stiff stand against him. Talking to Express, Vinod Kumar said, “The ruling party is afraid of my growing popularity. It failed to convince me to withdraw my nomination. This is nothing but a conspiracy to remove me from the contest.” Vinod Kumar then approached the High Court, challenging the university’s notice.
Senior counsel Sarasani Satyam Reddy, appearing for Kumar, submitted that his client, who is an assistant professor at the PG College of Law of Osmania University, had applied for leave to contest the election as an independent candidate as the university rules do not permit its employee to take active part in politics.
On September 22, the university stated that it had no objection to his contesting election as an independent candidate, subject to approval of the executive council. However, without even placing the matter before the executive council, the university issued a letter on November 5 directing the petitioner not to leave Hyderabad city, the senior counsel explained. In fact, several political parties have supported the candidature of the petitioner because of his qualifications as also the integrity, and restraining him from participating in the election is illegal, the senior counsel argued.
After hearing the case, justice P Naveen Rao on Monday granted relief to the petitioner and permitted him to contest the election.