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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 27 February 2024 10.23 AM IST

SC lambasts government, Governor over Kannur VC re-appointment

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NEW DELHI: The controversial re-appointment of Dr. Gopinath Ravindran as Kannur VC was rejected by the Supreme Court with severe criticism; which served as a blow to both the government and the chancellor Governor. Unnecessary pressure from the government and the Governor’s subservience approving the appointment was lambasted by the court.

The court unequivocally stated that the chancellor is the supreme authority of the university. This judgment was a warning to stop the political interference tainting Kerala's higher education sector. The appointment of VCs in eight universities has been stalled for over a year due to the bickering existing between the government and the governor.

The government putting pressure on the chancellor has trespassed all ounces of probity, said the court. The court also said it was the feudal mindset of the government that made them move with an attempt to coax the governor into approving the reappointment.

Governor Arif Mohammad Khan earlier had admitted to being pressured by CMO and Minister R Bindu for the reappointment.

“Why did the governor succumb to the government's pressure? The chancellor cannot work as a rubber stamp of the government. If the law has given you power, it is your responsibility to use it. Instead, acting on the instructions of others is simply surrendering.” CJI D.Y. Chandrachud criticized the governor.

The verdict was passed by a bench led by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud on the pleas questioning the re-appointment. The verdict is a severe blow to the Pinarayi Vijayan Government. The court said the guilty verdict of the high court is being quashed.

“The interest of the university should be paramount. The Chancellor has to decide as per the university rules. The re-appointment of Gopinath Ravindran was not something that came from the Chancellor. That is why the new notification was issued. But suddenly, there is interference from the minister and a re-appointment order is issued.” said the bench consisting of CJI D Y Chandrachud.

The judgment was read by Justice JB Pardiwala of the three-judge bench. Justice Manoj Mishra concurred in the judgment. It was Dr Premachandran Keezhoth and academic council member Shino P Jose who moved the SC questioning the re-appointment of Kannur VC.

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TAGS: SUPREME COURT, KERALA, GOVERNOR, KANNUR, UNIVERSITY, CHANCELLOR
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