Kerala Cabinet to bring ordinance to remove Governor from post of Chancellor

Earlier, the VCs of nine universities moved the High Court challenging the Governor's order to tender their resignations
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan | (Pic: Express)
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan | (Pic: Express)

Amidst the ongoing tussle between the Governor and the Left government, the Kerala Cabinet on Wednesday, November 9 decided to bring in an ordinance to remove Governor Arif Mohammad Khan from the post of Chancellor.

However, the state cabinet is planning to bring in an expert in place of the Chancellor. The decision came after Governor Arif Mohammad Khan sought the resignations of vice-chancellors of all nine universities in the state, as stated in a report by ANI.

As per an earlier 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 Thunchath Ezhuthachan Malayalam University have been asked to resign from their posts.

VCs challenged Governor's order
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, CM Pinarayi Vijayan government had requested the High Court to stay the appointment that was ordered by Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan, Chancellor of the state universities. However, the court on Tuesday, November 8 declined to stay the appointment.

The Supreme Court in October sacked Dr Rajasree MS from the Vice-Chancellor post citing a violation of University Grants Commission (UGC) norms. A bench of justices MR Shah and CT Ravikumar allowed the appeal filed by Professor Sreejith PS challenging the Kerala High Court order dated August 2, 2021.

As per the UGC Regulations also, the Visitor/Chancellor shall appoint the Vice-Chancellor from 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, as per ANI.

Therefore, the appointment of the respondent Rajasree can be said to be dehors (outside the scope of) and/or contrary to the provisions of the UGC Regulations as well as even to the University Act, 2015, the top court noted.

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