'Destroying a fine university with petty controversy,' HC raps Kerala University senate

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Kerala University. File photo: Manorama

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Wednesday heavily criticised the Senate of Kerala University for not nominating a representative to the Selection Committee constituted for appointing a new Vice Chancellor.

Observing that the Senate was refusing to nominate their member due to a decision taken by the Chancellor on August 5, Justice Devan Ramachandran said.

"Be that as it may, there can be no doubt that the Kerala University requires a Vice Chancellor soon. The disputes between the stakeholders cannot proceed to a situation where the selection of the Vice Chancellor can be delayed indefinitely. They cannot be at war all the time, and thus frustrate the legitimate right of the student community, particularly, to have a Vice Chancellor in office at the earliest".

The court on Tuesday also had questioned the reluctance of the University in nominating the member, and berated the Senate for sticking to what it termed as "hyper-technicalities".

During the hearing today, the Standing Counsel for Kerala University Thomas Abraham submitted that there was a meeting of the Senate scheduled to be held on November 4 but that there is no agenda on the said date to consider the nomination of a member to the Selection Committee.

However, the counsel added that he shall obtain instructions as to whether a new meeting could be convened for the said purpose, and sought time for the same.

During the arguments today where the counsels for the petitioners pointed out the illegalities in the Chancellor's decision, the court observed, "Since you seem to check and quote the law so much, have you checked whether the Senate can pass a resolution against the Chancellor? Such a measure is unheard of".

Expressing its dismay over the state of events, the court also said:

"You want to destroy a fine running University with this petty controversy."Justice Ramachandran further said: "I see that I am the only man here who wants a Vice Chancellor. I am outnumbered very badly, I know that. But I have the might of the system with me".

The court said though it had attempted to hear the matter yesterday and today, the same could not be completed since the pleadings are incomplete and impleadment applications are also yet to be decided.

Adjourning the matter to November 9, the court said the interim orders will continue in the meantime.

(With LiveLaw inputs.)

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