Sunday, May 19, 2024

Abdul Kalam Technological University: Supreme Court sets aside appointment of Rajasree MS as Vice Chancellor

In an appeal challenging the appointment of Dr. Rajasree M.S as Vice Chancellor of the APJ technology university ,the Supreme Court Bench of Justice M.R. Shah and Justice C.T. Kumar, have set aside the appointment.

The appeal challenged the appointment of Dr. Rajasree M.S as the Vice Chancellor, of the Abdul Kalam Technological University.

It was alleged that the appointment of the respondent was in contravention of the provisions of the UGC Regulations.

The reason cited were that the composition of the Search Committee was not as per the the UGC Regulations, 2010 norms.

The recommendation and appointment of the Vice Chancellor was not in accordance with the UGC Guidelines. It further s said that the Search Committee was required to recommend a panel of three to five names to the Chancellor, however, in the present case, only one name was recommended to the Chancellor, which was contrary to the UGC Regulations;

The respondents had claimed that unless the UGC Regulations are specifically adopted by the State Government, the State legislation shall prevail.

The question before the Court to decide upon was, whether while making the appointment of respondent No. 1 as Vice Chancellor of the APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University, Thiruvananthapuram, the appointment should be as per the prevailing UGC Regulations or in effect of the provisions of the University Act, 2015 (State Act)? and whether the committee so constituted was a duly constituted committee?

The Court before giving the judgement aid that any appointment as a Vice Chancellor made on the recommendation of the Search Committee, contrary to the provisions of the UGC Regulations shall be void ab initio.

Court keeping in mind the primacy of Union legislation over State in case of a conflict,

The Bench noted ,said that even as per Section 13(4) of the University Act, 2015, the Committee shall recommend unanimously a panel of not less than three suitable persons from amongst the eminent persons in the field of engineering sciences, which shall be placed before the Visitor/Chancellor”.

While in this case , 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.

Court concluded by saying that appointment of the respondent No. 1 can be said to be dehors and/or contrary to the provisions of the UGC Regulations as well as even to the University Act, 2015.


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