March 7, 2021 8:58:10 pm
The Bombay high Court recently stayed an order of Solapur University that removed members of the senate, management council and board of studies, who were found guilty of giving false information to the media about the vice-chancellor.
The court held that provisions of the Maharashtra Universities Act, under which senate members were removed, was applicable to students, teachers and staff but could not be applied to senate members and members of the management council.
A division bench of Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice Milind N Jadhav was hearing petitions by Dr Hanumant Krishna Awatade and five other members of the authorities of Punyashlok Ahilyadevi Holkar Solapur University challenging February 4 order issued by the university.
Advocates N V Bandiwadekar and Milind Deshmukh for the petitioners submitted that the notice was issued on January 10, under Section 71(10) of the Maharashtra Public Universities Act, 2016, alleging that the petitioners provided some information without evidence to a news reporter against the vice-chancellor, which was later found to be incorrect.
According to the February 4 order, however, it was recorded that the petitioners’ explanation was not acceptable and was rejected and, thereafter, senate and management council membership were terminated.
Advocate P N Joshi for the respondent university referred to sections 64(f) and 64(h) of the Act regarding disqualification for membership of authority and said the decision to terminate membership was justified.
The bench observed, “Evidently, the aforesaid provision cannot be applied to the case of petitioners, who are teachers and an elected member of the senate, management council and board of studies.”
As an interim measure, the court stayed the order till further directions and posted further hearing to April 6.
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