Karnataka technical varsity VC suspended

Bengaluru: Karnataka Governor Vajubhai R. Vala on Tuesday suspended Vishvesvaraya Technology University vice chancellor H. Maheshappa and nominated registrar (evaluation) H.G. Shekarappa as in charge of the office.

In a communique here, Raj Bhavan said Vala, who is also the chancellor, decided to suspend Maheshappa on the basis of a fact finding committee report submitted by former high court judge K.N. Keshavanarayana on charges of irregularities and illegalities during the vice-chancellor’s tenure.

“The committee inquired into the charges and found prima facie abuse of powers and huge financial loss to the university under Maheshappa,” official sources said.

About 200 state-run and private engineering colleges across the state are affiliated to the technical university, based at Belagavi in the state’s northern district, about 500km from Bengaluru.

Though the panel, set up in May 8 following the allegations, gave Maheshappa an opportunity to counter the charges within 15 days, he failed to respond.

“The vice chancellor was again an opportunity on February 16 to respond within 15 days. Though he sought more time on March 3, the panel told him to file explanation till March 13. Yet, he did not respond till the suspension was ordered,” a source said.

The charges against Maheshappa included irregularities in recruiting 168 teaching and non-teaching staff, substantial use of Rs.541 crore corpus fund and other lapses.

Maheshappa’s second term was extended till June 30, 2016 after the first three-year term ended on June 1, 2013.

He is the first vice-chancellor of the 28-year-old technical university to face suspension.