Kerala High Court Directs Chancellors to Scrutinize Legality of Show-Cause Notices to VCs

LI Network

Published on: 27 January, 2024 at 12:42 IST

The Kerala High Court has instructed the Chancellors to assess the legality and jurisdiction of show-cause notices issued to the Vice Chancellors (VCs) of Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady, University of Calicut, Kerala University of Digital Sciences, Innovation and Technology, and Sree Narayana Open University.

The notices were based on UGC Regulations and the Supreme Court decisions, particularly Professor (Dr) Sreejith P.S. v. Dr Rajasree M.S. and others (2022).

The Chancellors had issued show-cause notices, demanding the VCs to establish their legal right to hold their positions and justify why their appointments should not be deemed illegal and void ab initio.

Justice Mohammed Nias C.P. directed the Chancellors to consider the objections raised by the petitioners, the Vice Chancellors, and make determinations regarding the legality, jurisdiction of the show-cause notices, and the alleged violation of UGC Regulations.

The process is expected to conclude within six weeks, allowing the petitioners a reasonable opportunity for a hearing.

The petitioners, including Dr. M V Narayanan, Dr. M K Jayaraj, Dr. Saji Gopinath, and Dr. P M Mubaraka Pasha, had approached the Court against the show-cause notices.

The Court acknowledged that the notices were issued based on the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dr. Rajasree’s case, emphasizing that factual assessments of the appointment’s validity need to be made by the Chancellor.

While the Supreme Court had established that appointments contrary to UGC regulations would be void ab initio, the Kerala High Court emphasized that factual adjudication is crucial to determine whether the Vice Chancellors’ appointments in this case adhered to the relevant UGC Regulations.

The court’s ruling underscores the need for a careful examination of the legality of the show-cause notices and the appointments, ensuring compliance with UGC regulations and relevant legal precedents.

Case Title: Dr M V Narayanan v Chancellor & Connected Cases

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