The Kerala High Court on Monday cancelled the appointment of the Vice Chancellor of Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS), saying that he was appointed in violation of UGC norms.
A bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly said regulations of the University Grants Commission (UGC) that mandate that a list of three or more candidates be forwarded to the Chancellor for appointment was not followed in the case of Dr K Riji John being appointed as VC of KUFOS.
The court also said that the Chancellor may initiate the process of forming a search committee to select a new VC and added that, henceforth, the selection of VC should strictly follow the UGC norms.
The order came on two pleas challenging the appointment of John. The detailed high court order is not yet available.
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The order vindicates Governor Arif Mohammed Khan’s recent action seeking John’s resignation on the same grounds after the Supreme Court had held that according to UGC norms, the search committee constituted by the state should have recommended a panel of not less than three suitable people.
Khan had, thereafter, sent a show cause notice to John asking why he should be allowed to continue as VC in view of the apex court ruling which came while setting aside the appointment of the VC of APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University on the ground that it was in violation of UGC norms.