HC offers to reinstate senate members if Kerala Uni promises to elect its search committee nominee


Kerala University | Photo: Mathrubhumi

Kochi: Kerala High Court on Wednesday orally mediated in the tussle between the senate and the chancellor of Kerala University. Justice Devan Ramachandran said that all senate members would be reinstated if the committee is ready to select a nominee for the search committee to find a new vice-chancellor.

The court was considering the plea of 15 senate members ousted by chancellor Arif Mohammed Khan. They allegedly stayed away from a meeting that was supposed to elect its members for the select committee constituted by Khan.

The formation of the search committee, while the government was mooting changes in the format of the committee, had triggered a tug of war between the governor and the university, controlled by the ruling dispensation.

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The court said that the university’s response did not indicate its interest in electing the nominee. Senate members do not intend to appoint a new vice-chancellor, it criticised.

In addition, the court reiterated that the "pleasure" doctrine is not a matter of personal preference for the chancellor. Khan had first withdrawn his “pleasure” for the nominated members to continue on the committee after they refrained from attending the meeting. As the VC did not act on the notice of the chancellor, Khan himself sacked the members.

It is not appropriate for a person holding a key office to withdraw his "pleasure" over his dislike of an individual. No parties had taken an interest in discussing the future of students affected by the stand-still between the university and the Kerala governor, the court said.

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