VCs get more time to respond to Governor’s showcause notices

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Thursday extended till November 7 the time for Vice-Chancellors (VCs) to respond to showcause notices sent to them by Governor Arif Mohammed Khan. The notices sought to know from the VCs as to why they should be allowed to continue in their posts, as their appointments were illegal as per a recent Supreme Court ruling.

Justice Devan Ramachandran, refraining from staying the showcause notices, gave the time to submit their objections and also request personal hearing, said senior advocate Jaju Babu appearing for the Governor.

With the direction, the court listed the VCs’ plea, claiming the Governor’s notice was illegal and void, for hearing on November 8.

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Earlier in the day, the Governor, while speaking to reporters in New Delhi, said Raj Bhavan has informed the VCs that the time to file their explanations and request for a personal hearing has been extended to November 7.

Khan, as Chancellor of universities, issued showcause notices to VCs of 11 universities in the State.

He had given them time till November 3 and 4 for filing their replies.

Raj Bhavan sources said that as on date only the replies of the VCs of Kerala University and Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS) have been received.

On October 21, the top court quashed the appointment of the VC of APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University, saying that as per the University Grants Commission (UGC), the search committee constituted by the State should have recommended a panel of not less than three suitable people in the field of engineering science to the Chancellor but, instead it sent only one name.

Based on that, Khan called for resignations of VCs whose names were the only ones recommended for appointment and also those who were selected by a committee of which the Chief Secretary of the State was a member, terming both as a violation of UGC regulations.

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