‘No child’s play’! HC chides Guv Khan on sacking of Senate members

Kochi: The Kerala High Court (HC) criticised the State’s Governor and Chancellor Arif Mohammed Khan on Wednesday, while considering the plea of 15 Senate members ousted from Kerala University.

Khan had ordered the removal of the Senate members in October this year, after his repeated directions to hold a Senate meeting and suggest a nominee of the Senate for the selection committee went unheeded.

After analysing the the rules and letters regarding formation of search committee, the court said that those occupying top posts shouldn’t act thus, and said the Chancellor’s is treating it as a child’s play.

The Court also notably pointed out that his personal ‘pleasure’ is not a reason to withdraw the Senate members, and can do so only for legal reasons.

At the same time, the Court said that it can’t be said how the Senate members should conduct themselves, while considering the case.

The Court also asked how the Senate members can question the Chancellor’s action, considering that he appointed them.

Earlier, justice Devan Ramachandran had said that if both parties compromise, the issue can be settled.

What led to the sacking
The removal of 15 members of the Senate of Kerala University was notified by Khan on October 19. The notification was issued by Khan as the Chancellor of universities in the state.

The move was following the violation of his October 15 direction to the Vice Chancellor of Kerala University to immediately remove the Senate members.

The gazette notification said that by a letter dated October 15, 2022, the order of the Chancellor withdrawing his pleasure, with effect from that day, in allowing the Senate members to continue was communicated.

“Now, therefore, in pursuance to this, the Chancellor is also pleased to notify the withdrawal of the above Senate members nominated as per the above provisions with effect from October 15, 2022,” the notification said.

Khan’s October 15 decision was criticised by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who said that it was not according to law.

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