Governor Ram Naik Wednesday returned two bills pending with him to the state government for reconsideration.
Suggesting that there were several provisions in Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences Bill-2015 and IIMT University-Meerut Bill-2016 that required amendments, Naik has asked for “reconsideration of amendments by both the Houses of UP Legislature”.
On the medical sciences Bill, Governor pointed out that the chief secretary of the state, who has been made the institute’s chairman, has been given most of the administrative powers, including appointments, which could affect its autonomy.
“Higher education institutes like universities are considered autonomous and can undertake academic activities without any political or administrative interference. They can also act independently while appointing their staff. But, in the above Bill, most of these administrative powers have been given to Chairman (chief secretary),” said Naik.
On the bill pertaining to IIMT, Governor pointed to a “lacunae” in the provisions, which says that if the university flouts its provisions three times, the state government would acquire power to abolish it with the approval from Universities Grants Commission. At present, the central body does not have such power.
An official spokesperson of the Raj Bhavan said the Governor has written to the Speaker (Legislative Assembly) as well as the Chairman (Legislative Council) for reconsideration of the two bills in their respective Houses. He has also sent a copy of the letter to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
The development comes weeks after state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Azam Khan blamed Raj Bhavan for withholding Uttar Pradesh Nagar Nigam (Amendment) Bill-2015 that allows action against mayors and passed by the Assembly last year. Azam accused the Governor of “working under the influence of one particular party”.
“A Bill is pending with the Governor for over a year through which mayors could be removed for financial irregularities. The Governor has stalled the bill giving an impression that he is working under the influence of a particular party.”
The Bill did not get the Governor’s approval in order to ensure that the mayors are not punished for their “dishonesty”, Azam had alleged. “If there is any problem in the Bill, it could be returned or if there is any suggestion, I could be called for a clarification. There should be a way out. It was not a disputed Bill. There is no intention of victimisation of any mayor through it,” Azam had argued then.
Recently, the Governor cleared Uttar Pradesh Medical University, Saifai, Etawah Bill—2015 in its “existing form”, paving way for the state to get its second medical university. The university, with Chief Minister as its Chancellor, will come up in the native village of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.