As VC refuses, governor himself ousts Kerala University senate members

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Thiruvananthapuram: In an unprecedented move, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Wednesday released an order sacking 15 members of the senate, an administrative body, of the Kerala University.

Earlier, the governor had asked the vice-chancellor that he "withdraws the pleasure" to let them continue in the senate after they failed to attend a crucial meeting.

Reacting to this, university vice-chancellor PV Mahadevan Pillai informed the governor, who is also the chancellor of the university that there are 'illegalities' in his move and asked him to reconsider it.

Following this, the governor himself has now issued an order of sacking the 15 senate members.

Pillai, as well as chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, have pointed out that some of the members the governor ousted were ex-officio members of the body and he cannot remove them.

The university has also convened senate on November 4. The ousted members, who are close to the ruling dispensation, are likely to approach the court against the move.

The senate has to recommend a member to the search committee to elect the next vice-chancellor of the university as Pillai's term ends on October 24. The chancellor formed the committee while the government was mooting changes to its format to give the state an upper hand in the process. The governor's decision to form the committee without waiting for the university to decide on its representative irked the government and the varsity. In the last meeting of the senate, the members supporting the government allegedly stayed away to make sure that the quorum was not met. This forced the governor to act.

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