The Bar Council of India on Monday wrote to Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi seeking a review of the decision to appoint professor Sudhir Krishnaswamy as the vice chancellor of the National Law School of India University in Bengaluru, Bar and Bench reported.

In July, a high-level committee appointed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi – who is also the chancellor of the law university – had named Krishnaswamy the next vice chancellor. Krishnaswamy was to succeed R Venkata Rao who completed his 10-year term on July 31. However, the university’s executive council is yet to issue a formal appointment order, and instead decided to appoint professor MK Ramesh the acting vice chancellor last month.

The students of the the premier law school had decided to boycott their end semester examinations that were scheduled to begin on Monday over the delay in Krishnaswamy’s appointment. But the Student Bar Association later called off its protest after an alumnus of the institute, who was in conversation with Gogoi, assured them that only procedural formalities are left in the appointment and that they would be completed.

BCI Co-Chairperson Ved Prakash Sharma called for action against the students. He said “unruly elements” had forced a boycott of classes at the “most outstanding legal education centre of the country and the world”.

The BCI’s letter added that the role of Krishnaswamy behind the students’ protest could not be ruled out. “To restore discipline in the campus, the decision to appoint him [ Krishnaswamy] Vice-Chancellor should be reviewed by the EC and suitable action taken against the students responsible for creating the present situation in the NLSIU campus,” the BCI said.

The students had alleged a conflict of interest on the part of Registrar Omprakash V Nandimath. He was one of the applicants for the post of vice chancellor, but his name was not shortlisted.

The bar council supported the registrar in its letter to Gogoi. “The students body is crossing its limit by trying to question the functioning of the Executive Council and accusing the Registrar by imputing motives on him…,” the BCI said.

It added that the decision to appoint Krishnaswamy would be taken at the next executive council meeting scheduled for September 28, and said there was no reason for the students to “make it a controversial issue”.

The letter said that the Student Bar Association was not a stakeholder in the appointment process of either the vice chancellor or any other faculty member.

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