HC censures govt, quashes VCs’ postings order

In a major setback to the State Government, the Hyderabad High Court today passed strictures and quashed GO appointing Vice Chancellors for the universities.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Dilip B Bhosale and Justice AV Sesha Sai delivered judgment setting aside the GO and reserved it for four weeks. The court is understood to have found fault with the government’s order likening it to appointing political leaders as VCs who unsuccessfully contested the elections for MPs, MLAs and Village Panchayats.

The High Court also sought to know why the government took the hasty decision even as a case is sub-judice with regard to a petition on the Acts pertaining to appointment of chancellors and vice chancellors. The court reportedly made some remarks against the government for not waiting for a few more days as the appointment of the vice chancellors has already been delayed by two years. The court reserved the verdict for four weeks followed by an appeal by the attorney general.

It is learnt that the State government was planning to move Supreme Court to stall the High Court decision in this regard. When asked, Deputy Chief Minister Kadiam Srihari said he will react on the same only after seeing the details of the court decision.

It may be mentioned here that VCs for eight universities were appointed, including Osmania, JNTU, Ambedkar Open University, Kakatiya, Telugu University, Palamuru and Prof. Jayashankar Agricultural University on Tuesday.

The government made the appointments through a GO based on their qualifications that deviated from the established procedure of selecting VCs by a search committee that protects the autonomous status of the universities and also avoids political interference in the administration.

Following the appeal by the Advocate-General Ramakrishna Reddy, the Court gave four weeks stay on the cancellation of the appointments till the appeal is filed.

“What was the urgency to issue a GO in appointing VCs when the case was sub judice? Justice Bhosale pointed out why the government has not waited for another two or three days when it had kept pending the posts vacant for the past two years?  “You could not have done this”, the bench said while expressing its displeasure with the decision of the government

“It appears that the impugned GOs and amending the Act is paving way for even MPs, MLAs and even the board members of panchayat defeated in elections to be appointed as V-Cs,’’ the bench observed.(NSS)