Governor to HC: Kerala University senate acted unlawfully, exceeded limits

KOCHI: The Chancellor of the University of Kerala has informed the Kerala High Court that the senate members were removed as they acted unlawfully and exceeded their jurisdiction. Governor Arif Mohammad Khan is the Chancellor of the university.
Responding to petitions (WP-C 33664/22 and others) filed by the members of the senate whose nominations were withdrawn, the Chancellor said in an affidavit that the action of the senate, chaired by the vice-chancellor, requesting the Chancellor to withdraw the Raj Bhavan’s notification, to constitute a selection committee to select the next vice-chancellor, is not in accordance with the provisions of the University Act but must be called a “marked affront”. The notification was issued after the senate repeatedly failed to nominate a person to the three-member selection committee to choose the new vice chancellor in view of the retirement of the incumbent, the Chancellor contended. The senate was also informed that the third member, who is nominated by the senate, will be included in the selection committee as and when the nomination is made by the senate, the court was told.
The senate members do not enjoy the privilege to indulge in any illegal decision-making process against the lawful action of the Chancellor, the affidavit said. Nominees of the Chancellor becoming a party on the unanimous decision of the senate requesting to withdraw notification issued by the Chancellor is unlawful, the affidavit filed by the Chancellor through senior advocate K Jaju Babu said.
“They have gone out of bounds of their jurisdiction to exercise the authority and power which is not vested on them. It is respectfully submitted that the act of the Chancellor was in good faith to avoid all possible delays in appointing a new Vice Chancellor to the University,” the affidavit stated.