Ousted Jamia officiating VC Eqbal Hussain moves HC against new appointee

In his petition, Prof Hussain called the appointment of Prof Mohammad Shakeel in his place "illegal and arbitrary"
The high court had on May 22 quashed the appointment of Hussain as the Pro-VC
The high court had on May 22 quashed the appointment of Hussain as the Pro-VC(Image: EdexLive Desk)

Prof Eqbal Hussain, who was recently ousted as the oOficiating Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), approached the Delhi High Court (HC), today, Tuesday, May 28, against the appointment of Prof Mohammad Shakeel in his place.

Prof Hussain called the appointment of Prof Mohammad Shakeel in his place "illegal and arbitrary", reported PTI.

Jamia administration appointed Shakeel as its Officiating Vice-Chancellor (VC) last week, on May 22, hours after the high court quashed the appointment of Hussain to the post.

In his petition, Hussain said the fresh appointment is in violation of the court's order which, "in clear and unambiguous terms", had asked the Visitor, the President of India, to appoint an officiating VC.

Justice Tushar Rao Gedela has listed the plea for hearing on May 30.

During the hearing, Justice Gedela asserted that his May 22 order was "very clear" that the appointment has to be made by the Visitor, and questioned how the appointment was stated to have been done by the university.

"I am very clear Visitor has the power. Under what power has Jamia done it? Who has done it ? Does the registrar have the power to appoint?" the court said.

Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma and advocate Pritish Sabharwal, appearing for JMI, informed the court that the nominees of the Visitor participated in the meeting that decided the appointment of Shakeel, the senior most professor, and the matter was being considered by the Visitor.

Background

The high court had on May 22 quashed the appointment of Hussain as the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (VC) and subsequently, as Officiating VC of Jamia, holding that the appointments were not made in conformity with the relevant statute.

It had, however, directed that to ensure that the academic and administrative machinery of the university does not suffer or come to a complete halt, a fresh appointment to the post of officiating VC be made within one week, PTI added.

The court had also asked the Visitor to order the initiation of the process of appointing a regular VC in the meantime.

On September 14, 2023, then VC Prof Najma Akhtar appointed Hussain as the Pro-VC of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI).

Subsequently, upon Akhtar's superannuation on November 12, 2023, another notification was issued by the office of the Registrar about Hussain assuming the charge of Officiating VC.

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