Arif Mohammed Khan I Photo: PTI
New Delhi: The tussle between Kerala Governor Arif Mohd Khan and the Pinarayi Vijayan government seems to be continuing as the former on Tuesday alleged that all appointments in the state-run universities are "illegal" while also adding that the universities have become "become fiefdoms of the party cadre".
"Why don't you raise the issue that until last year Kerala had 13 universities and all appointments are illegal? Is there any other state where 100 per cent of appointments have been done in violation of the law? Universities have become fiefdoms of the party cadre and their relatives," the Governor alleged.
Talking about the protests by the Left Democratic Front workers towards Raj Bhavan in Kerala, against the Governor's actions pertaining to universities and bills passed by the state assembly, the Governor said that he cannot be pressurised.
"I'm not going to deal with these things. But I can tell you one thing, I think there's enough evidence for you to come to the conclusion that I'm not the type of person who can be pressurised," he said.
He further stressed that he would resign if he can be countered with one instance where he interfered in the business of the government.
"Job to run Universities is with Chancellor, to run government is with the elected government. Give me one instance where I tried to interfere in the business of government, I shall resign that very moment. I can give you 1,001 examples where they interfered in the functioning of Universities daily," he said.
Earlier, the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Kerala government sent an ordinance to Rajbhavan for the removal of Governor Arif Mohammed Khan from the post of chancellor of the state universities.
Kerala Raj Bhavan on Saturday confirmed that it received the ordinance to remove the Governor from the post of chancellor in various universities.
The Kerala Cabinet on November 9 decided to bring in an ordinance to remove governor Arif Mohammed Khan from the post of chancellor.
The state Cabinet is planning to bring in an expert in place of the chancellor.
The cabinet's decision came after Governor sought the resignations of vice-chancellors of all nine universities in the state.
As per an order issued by the Kerala Governor, 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 Abdul Kalam Technological University, Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, University of Calicut and Thunachath Ezhuthachan Malayalam University have been asked to resign from their posts.
Later the VCs of nine universities moved the High Court challenging the Governor's order to tender their resignations.
The Governor had also appointed Ciza Thomas as Vice Chancellor in-charge of the APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University (KTU) in Thiruvananthapuram.
Meanwhile, the Vijayan government had requested the High Court to stay the appointment that was ordered by Kerala Governor Arif Muhammad Khan, chancellor of the state universities. However, the court on Tuesday declined to stay the appointment.
The Supreme Court in October sacked Rajasree MS from the Vice Chancellor post citing a violation of UGC norms.
A bench of justices MR Shah and CT Ravikumar allowed the appeal filed by Professor Sreejith P.S. challenging the Kerala High Court order pronounced on August 2, last year.
As per the UGC regulations also, the Visitor/Chancellor shall appoint the Vice Chancellor out of the panel of names recommended by the search committee.
Therefore, when only one name was recommended and the panel of names was not recommended, the Chancellor had no option to consider the names of the other candidates, the top court observed.
Therefore, the appointment of the respondent Rajasree can be said to be dehors and/or contrary to the provisions of the UGC Regulations as well as even to the University Act, 2015, the top court noted. (ANI)