No interference, but govt will abide by SC vedict: Higher edu minister Bindu

Higher Education Minister Dr R Bindu. Photo: Manorama Online

Malappuram: The LDF government did not interfere in the reappointment of Prof Gopinath Ravindran as the Vice- Chancellor of Kannur University, but it will abide by the Supreme Court's decision to quash the appointment, said Kerala's minister for higher education R Bindu.
"The Supreme Court is the highest seat of justice and the government will abide by its judgment," she said.

When asked about the Supreme Court's observation that the reappointment was vitiated by the "unwarranted interference" of the Kerala government, she said she was yet to receive a copy of the order and neither have the media. "Did you hear the court's observation? You have not got a copy of the judgment, right? I will comment on it after I am convinced that the court used the term. Skies will not fall if we don't react now," she said.

To be sure, legal news reporting portal LiveLaw has quoted the Supreme Court as saying: "Although the notification for reappointment was issued by the Chancellor, the decision stood vitiated by the unwarranted interference by the State Government".

When pressed on whether the government interfered in the reappointment of the vice-chancellor, she said there was no interference in the process. "Two courts (single bench and division bench of the High Court) had upheld the reappointment. The (Kerala) Lok Ayukta also approved the appointment," she said, speaking to Onmanorama over the phone from the Nava Kerala Sadas bus in Ernad taluk of Malappuram.

However, talking to the media, Governor Arif Mohammad Khan said that the higher education minister had separately forwarded the Advocate General's opnion to Raj Bhavan.
AG had opined that it was not against the law to permit the Pro-Chancellor (higher education minister) to submit the necessary proposal for the reappointment of the incumbent.

They did not find any procedural issue in the reappointment of Prof Gopinath Ravindran. "We will be able to know of the problem in the reappointment only after reading the judgment," she said.

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