High Court cancels Kerala university VC's appointment

Dr Babu Sebastian’s appointment as VC of Mahatma Gandhi University was cancelled on grounds of inadequate qualifications.
High Court cancels Kerala university VC's appointment
High Court cancels Kerala university VC's appointment
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Four years after Dr Babu Sebastian was appointed Mahatma Gandhi University's Vice Chancellor, the Kerala High Court on Monday cancelled the appointment on grounds of inadequate qualifications, and formation of a search committee against UGC rules to find a suitable candidate for the post.

The High Court order came on a plea by TR Premkumar, who pointed to violation of norms and rules in the appointment of Sebastian as head of the Kottayam-based varsity.

The petitioner said two other candidates had prescribed University Grants Commission (UGC) qualifications and Sebastian did not, despite which he was selected to the top post.

According to the UGC rules, a person is required and expected to serve as a professor for 10 years to become a vice-chancellor. The court ruled that Babu Sebastian does not fulfil the records and therefore is not eligible to continue in the post.

Moreover, there are discrepancies in the way the panel of selection of the vice-chancellor was made, the court ruled.

The petitioner also said that a search committee was constituted to select the new V-C in 2014 which was also in violation of the UGC norms.

"The UGC guidelines are very clear that no one from either the varsity Senate or Syndicate should be included in the search committee. But the then Congress legislator, who was a member of these bodies, was made a member of the search committee. I am very happy that what I pointed out has been vindicated," Premkumar said after the verdict.

Meanwhile, reports have surfaced about Sebastian's links with a top politician in the then Congress-led United Democratic Front government and his selection was looked upon as a foregone conclusion according to the reports.

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