The division bench dismisses the PIL and observed that the appointments of VCs in 11 state universities were totally valid
A division bench led by the Calcutta High Court‘s Chief Justice T S Sivagnanam on Wednesday dismissed the PIL that challenged the decision of the West Bengal Governor, C V Ananda Bose to appoint interim vice chancellors for 11 state universities without the concurrence of the state education department.
Ten out of 11 vice chancellors have accepted the appointment offer from the Governor House on this count.
The PIL was filed on June 5, by a retired college teacher Santa Kumar Ghosh, where he had appealed for making the Governor House and the West Bengal government parties in the petition. The matter came up for hearing on Wednesday.
After the hearing, the division bench dismissed the PIL and observed that the appointments of vice chancellors in 11 state universities were totally valid. The division bench also observed that it is the responsibility of the state government to pay the salaries, allowances, and other financial entitlements to these vice chancellors.
The second part of the order of the division bench pertaining to the salaries and other financial entitlements is crucial as on June 13 the state education department ordered the stop-payment of salaries, allowances, and other financial entitlements.
The decision of the state government on this count drew strong criticisms from the academic circles of the state.
Already the Governor House and the state secretariat in West Bengal had entered into a cold war over the recruitment of these 11 interim vice chancellors. First, the state education minister, Bratya Basu issued an appeal towards the newly appointed interim vice chancellors not to accept the appointment offer. On June 3, ten out of 11 newly appointed interim vice chancellors took an ‘oath of commitment‘ from the Governor on this count.
It is learned that as many as 15 issues were included in that oath of commitment. The main part of the commitment was that all steps to be taken by the state universities should be “student-centric” and “academic centric” avoiding totally political and communal involvement.
[With Inputs from IANS]
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