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Supreme Court sets aside appointment of Rajasree as VC of APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University, Kerala

The Supreme Court on Friday declared the appointment of Dr. Rajasree MS as Vice Chancellor of the APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University in Kerala as null and void ab initio. 

The Bench of Justice M.R. Shah and Justice C.T. Ravikumar passed the order on a petition filed by Professor Dr. Sreejith PS, which challenged the Kerala High Court order on the grounds that the appointment of Dr Rajasree violated the stipulations of the University Grants Commission (UGC).

The Apex Court held that the verdicts given by a Single Bench earlier and Division Bench of the High Court later, were unsustainable and allowed the plea by Sreejith, former dean of Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), Kochi. 

The petitioner contended before the Supreme Court that the search committee entrusted with the job of finding the VC, did not recommend three names to the Chancellor as stipulated by the UGC. Instead, it unanimously recommended Rajasree.

Earlier on October 12, the Apex Court had observed that the UGC guidelines were not followed in the appointment of Dr Rajasree MS as the vice-chancellor of the APJ Abdul Kalam University in 2019.

The plea contended that the Chief Secretary could not be a member of the search committee as the regulation prohibited the persons connected with the university from becoming part of it. 

Sreejith pointed out that instead of UGC, it was the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) that recommended another member of the committee, which was again a violation of the rules. 

The Counsel representing the state government, argued before the court that as per the 2013 order of the UGC, the state can make appointments based on state laws and the appointment of Rajasree was valid. The advocate for Rajesree said that her tenure would end in February next year. 

(Case title: Professor Dr Sreejith PS vs Dr Rajashree MS & Ors)

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