Petition against Chancellor will stand, not Governor: HC tells Govt

Kerala High Court. Photo: E V Sreekumar.

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Monday told the state government that if its petition is against the Governor, it will not stand. However, the court pointed out that an appeal can be filed against the Chancellor of universities.

The observation was made while the court was considering the petition filed by the government questioning the appointment of the temporary vice-chancellor (VC) of Kerala Technical University.

"In the petition, the government has questioned the actions of the Governor, which will not stand in the case," stated the court.

But the lawyer stated that the Governor himself is the Chancellor, which validates the petition.

The court further asked the parties involved to avoid such situations. "Students are the first priority. The court is concerned about their future," it observed.

Meanwhile, the Governor's argument was that the appointment of Dr Sisa Thomas was made with good intentions. "She was fourth in seniority. Also, there were no other qualified candidates in the technical university," argued the Governor.

Sisa Thomas clarified that her appointment was made only after two letters were sent to the Directorate of Technical Education regarding the same.

Responding to the Governor's argument, the government submitted Sisa came tenth in terms of seniority. They also stated that the Chancellor did not specify the reasons for rejecting their recommendations for acting VC.

The UGC (University Grants Commission) informed the court that it is mandatory for a professor to have at least 10 years of teaching experience to be considered for the post of temporary VC. It also stated that a Pro Vice-Chancellor cannot be granted the authority of a VC, nor do they have the power to authenticate certificates.

The Governor then informed that if all the recommendations of the government are rejected, then it is up to the Chancellor to take a call. The government had forwarded three names as recommendations to the Governor for his consideration for the post of acting VC of the tech varsity.

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