Updated: January 20, 2021 2:31:35 am
A Senate member of Mumbai University on Monday moved the Bombay High Court against a January 8 notification confirming the appointment of Ramdas Atram, a former director of Institute of Science, Nagpur, as the registrar of the university and said the same was against the Maharashtra State Universities Act.
The petitioner said the university is a “statutory body” and does not require intervention of the state government to make appointments. The petition said the higher education department has “attempted to encroach upon powers of the university” and sought the state government notification to be quashed and set aside.
The post was lying vacant since July 2020 after the death of former registrar Ajay Deshmukh and, as per state government’s notification, Atram was appointed for only one year.
Senate member Dhanesh Sawant, who filed the plea through advocate Anjali Helekar, submitted that the appointment of the new registrar is “arbitrary, excessive, unreasonable and in utter disregard” of the provisions of the Maharashtra State Universities Act, 2016.
The petitioner said some months ago, the post of registrar was filled on a temporary basis as per the law and the state government has unnecessarily exercised the same power in less than six months for another temporary appointment and the same needs to be set aside.
The petition stated, “Appointment of a registrar has to be done as per law by the vice-chancellor, on the recommendation of a select committee constituted for the purpose. Even the temporary post has to be handed to someone appropriate for the post by the vice-chancellor only.”
The plea further submitted that the January 11 state government direction seeking details from all state universities related to vacant posts, selection committees and panel members, by asking universities to not start any recruitment process was an “interference”.
“Intention behind calling such data raises suspicion as it has also issued the direction to withhold the selection and recruitment of important statutory posts in universities,” Sawant stated in his plea.
He further submitted that it is necessary to resume the regular selection process, which was stalled due to restrictions imposed during Covid-19 lockdown.
Pending hearing, the plea sought an interim stay on January 8 and 11 decisions. The HC will hear the plea in due course.
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