Seven vice chancellors on Wednesday moved the Kerala High Court against the show cause notices issued to them by Governor Arif Muhammad Khan, reported ANI.
On October 23, Khan had directed the vice chancellors of nine state-run universities to submit their resignations, citing a Supreme Court verdict. However, the High Court stayed the order the next day, saying that the vice chancellors can continue in their positions till the governor, who is the ex-officio chancellor of the universities, passes an order on on the basis of show cause notices.
On October 24, Khan issued notices to vice chancellors of the University of Kerala, Mahatma Gandhi University, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies, Kannur University, APJ Adbul Kalam Technology University, Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, University of Calicut and Thunchath Ezhuthachan Malayalam University.
Khan alleged in the notices that the appointment process of the vice chancellors violated University Grants Commission norms as they were “either appointed from single-name panels or recommended by the search/ selection committee with non-academician as member”. He directed them to state by November 3 why their appointments should not be declared illegal.
A day later, Khan again sent similar show cause notices to the vice chancellors of Sree Narayana Guru Open University and Kerala University of Digital Sciences, Innovation and Technology.
In their plea on Wednesday, the vice chancellors sought to cancel the notices saying that it is illegal, reported The Indian Express. Justice Devan Ramachandran will consider the plea today.
Khan had issued the notices to the vice chancellors by citing a Supreme Court verdict passed on October 21. In the judgement, the court had held that the search committee that recommended appointing Rajasree MS as the vice chancellor of APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University, Thiruvananthapuram, was in violation of University Grants Commission norms.
The court said that according to the University Act 2015, the committee should unanimously nominate three persons for the role, but it had only recommended Rajasree’s name. The judges set aside her appointment.
In the letter to the nine vice chancellors on October 23, Khan had claimed that the Supreme Court verdict was applicable to other universities too.