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VC alleges political plot

Ranchi, June 25: Birsa Agricultural University (BAU) vice chancellor M.P. Pandey today filed his writ petition in Jharkhand High Court against his powers being stripped off by the governor-cum-chancellor of universities, his advocate citing he had been victimised for refusing to kowtow to Raj Bhavan and agriculture minister Yogendra Sao.

Pandey’s plea stated his powers had been seized as a fallout of a political conspiracy hatched for his ouster as he did not comply to favours sought by Raj Bhavan and agriculture minister Yogendra Sao.

The VC added the order had been passed “against the principles of natural justice” and he had not been allowed to defend himself.

Stating his powers have been curtailed under Section 21 of Jharkhand Agricultural University Act 2000, which has provisions for such an action only after an inquiry report is submitted, Pandey said no such probe was held before.

According to the Act, the inquiry must be conducted by a retired Supreme Court or high court judge. Though former high court judge Vikramaditya Prasad has been appointed for a probe, Pandey’s petition pointed out that it was stated in the notification that stripped him of powers.

Pandey’s advocate Rajeev Kumar said his client was a “victim of political conspiracy”.

Apparently, Pandey had refused to bend rules to oblige powers-that-be.

Allegedly, he was asked to pay Rs 6 lakh to M/s Manoj Tent House of Ratu Road, Ranchi, for pitching tents on Raj Bhavan during the winter rose show. Pandey declined, citing lack of sanctions.

Agriculture minister Yogendra Sao had also issued letters seeking appointments, postings, promotions and transfers of employees in the varsity and its constituent colleges. Sao’s brother-in-law Uttam Kumar apparently wrote to Pandey, seeking appointment of 10 persons from Barkagaon in Hazaribagh (Sao’s seat) as daily wagers in the varsity, to which the VC again refused, advocate Kumar said.

“Pandey refused to obey the minister and Raj Bhavan directive to release money in favour of a third person by bending rules. That’s why he has been victimised,” his advocate said.