Suspension of V-C of veterinary varsity illegal, govt. tells HC

April 04, 2024 08:59 pm | Updated 08:59 pm IST - KOCHI

The State government on Thursday submitted before the Kerala High Court that the Chancellor’s order suspending?M.R. Saseendranath from the post of Vice-Chancellor of the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University was illegal.

When a petition filed by Mr. Saseendranath challenging his suspension came up for hearing, the government pleader submitted that there were no personal allegations against him. In fact, there was no employer-employee relationship between the Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor.

Though the Chancellor was the appointing authority, the authority could not assume the role of an employer. As per the University Act, a Vice-Chancellor could be suspended on the ground of misappropriation, misconduct, and mismanagement of funds. There had been no such allegations?against the Vice-Chancellor. The suspension as well as the inquiry ordered by the Chancellor were beyond the powers of the Chancellor provided under the Act.

Counsel for the Chancellor submitted that the Chancellor was empowered to remove a Vice-chancellor under the provisions of the Act and it included the power to suspend him.

The appointing authority enjoyed the power under Section 16 of the General Clauses Act in the absence of an enabling provision for suspension in the Act. It was within the power of the appointment authority to ask an appointee to refrain from discharging the duties attached to the post.

Mr. Saseendranath failed to perform his duties to maintain discipline on the campus and hostel of the university. It was highly improbable that the petitioner, while holding the office of V-C, did not come to know about the serious situation on the campus and the hostel.

Even after the report about the incident, the petitioner did not do anything to fix the administrative lapses and ensure a proper investigation into the matter. There was every reason to prima facie conclude that the petitioner had failed to perform his duties as V-C.

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