No need to replace Prof Ciza Thomas from new panel provided by govt: Legal advisor tells governor

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Arif Mohammed Khan | Photo: Mathrubhumi

Thiruvananthapuram: The chancellor has legal ground to appeal to the decision of the Kerala High Court division bench which ruled that state government has the right to replace the vice-chancellor in-charge of the APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University (KTU), stated the legal advisor to governor Arif Mohammed Khan.

The government had sent a panel of three names to the governor to replace Prof Ciza Thomas as VC in-charge based on the HC order. However, the advisor told the governor, who is also the chancellor of KTU, that since the order does not explicitly state that the governor has to make a fresh appointment from the panel, the decision can be delayed.

The judgement has made it clear that the government possesses the right to initiate the VC appointment procedure. The chancellor cannot overlook this and make appointments on his own. However, the court found that the chancellor did not undermine the authority of the government while appointing Ciza. The court also stated that the appointment of Ciza was granted in a special situation.

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However, the HC observed that since the appointment was just a stop-gap arrangement, the government has the right to replace the appointee.

The legal advisor told the governor that since the court did not cancel the appointment of Ciza Thomas, it is not necessary to remove her. The advisor also told Raj Bhavan that the chancellor was not explicitly ordered to make a fresh appointment from the new panel.

It is unclear whether Khan will file an appeal against the HC order. However, he will not take a decision soon.

Prof Ciza and the members of the new panel provided by the government are retiring from service in April this year. They may be eligible to continue as VC since the age limit for VC is higher.

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