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Court axe on VCs picked by governor

Patna, Dec. 7: The high court today quashed the appointment of six vice-chancellors, including that of Patna University, and four pro-vice-chancellors made by the governor in his capacity as chancellor, saying the mandatory procedure of consulting the state government was not followed before filling the posts.

The division bench of Chief Justice Rekha M. Doshit and Justice A. Amanullah held the appointments as illegal on a PIL filed by Ram Tawakya Singh, a teacher of Veer Kuer Singh University in Ara.

The petition argued that the chancellor did not make the appointments in accordance with the provisions of the Bihar State Universities and Patna University acts of 1976.

“At no point of time before the Chancellor discussed the matter with the Chief Minister, the names proposed by the Chancellor were disclosed to the State Government. In absence of the disclosure of the names, the State Government could not have applied its mind or formed an opinion. A mere discussion without application of mind or forming an opinion, in our view, is not the ‘Consultation’ envisaged by the above referred Acts of 1976,” the bench said in its 22-page judgement.

The court also directed the authorities concerned to make fresh appointments within 30 days to fill up the posts of the six VCs and four pro-VCs.

Among the VCs whose appointments have been scrapped is Shambhu Nath Singh of Patna University, whose students’ union goes to polls next week.

The pro-VCs affected are J.P. Singh of Patna University, P.K. Verma of BN Mandal University, Kumaresh Prasad Singh of LN Mithila University, Darbhanga, and Sultana Khusad Jablen of Maulana Mazharul Haque Arabic and Persian University.

Additional advocate-general (1) Lalit Kishore, who appeared for the state, said the VCs and pro-VCs concerned would cease to function with immediate effect.

Appearing for the petitioner, advocate Sunil Kumar Singh had submitted that the chancellor neither consulted the government nor picked anyone from the panel of 12 names sent by the state in January 2011.

Raj Bhavan had, on August 1, 2011, issued a notification naming the six VCs and four pro-VCs without consulting the government, the petition contended.

Chief minister Nitish Kumar, who refused to comment on the verdict, acknowledged that the clash between Raj Bhavan and the government had cost the universities, and its students, dear.

“The clash between the chancellor and the state government does not help. I deeply regret that I have not been able to do anything for the universities. I wanted to create centres of excellence for a bright future for our students. Unfortunately we have ended up only giving grants to the universities,” Nitish said on his return from New Delhi.


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