SC Upholds Calcutta HC Order Setting Aside Sonali Chakravarti Banerjee’s Re-Appointment as VC of Calcutta University

Supreme Court Law Insider

Khushi Bajpai

Published on: October 11, 2022 at 07:19 IST

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court upheld a decision from the Calcutta High Court that had invalidated Sonali Chakravarti Banerjee’s re-appointment as Vice-Chancellor of Calcutta University.

The assailed high court judgment is valid in law and fact, according to a bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Hima Kohli, and does not call for involvement. It said that the West Bengal Governor, who serves as the university’s chancellor, had to approve the condition before it could be removed by the State.

Banerjee’s appointment as ViceChancellor of Calcutta University was revoked on September 13 by the Calcutta High Court, which ruled that the West Bengal government lacked the right to do so under the terms of the University’s Act.

Banerjee’s reappointment had been challenged in a PIL by a university alumnus, and the high court had ruled that the government order dated August 27, 2021, issued by a Special Secretary, could not be upheld.

It had ruled that neither Section 8 of the Calcutta University Act nor the remaining Section 60 of the Act gave the state the right to name or reappoint the vice chancellor.

Oral requests for a stay of the order’s implementation made by attorneys representing the state government were rejected.

Banerjee’s stint as Vice-Chancellor of Calcutta University ended on August 27, 2021, after she was appointed on August 28, 2017, for a period of four years.

The Chancellor extended her term by three months on the condition that the selection process would start and the vice-chancellor would be chosen in accordance with the law.

After then, Banerjee was reappointed as Vice Chancellor of Calcutta University with effect from August 28, 2021, for a period of four years, in a notification dated August 27, 2021, issued by the Special Secretary of the West Bengal government’s Higher Education Department.

Related Post