Wednesday, Sep 28, 2022

Kerala Governor stays university appointment of CPM leader’s wife

Ravindran told the media in Kannur that he will challenge the Governor’s stay order in the court.

Escalating his tussle with the CPI(M)-led LDF government in the state, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Wednesday stayed the appointment of Priya Varghese, wife of K K Ragesh, CPI(M) leader and private secretary to the Chief Minister, as associate professor in Kannur University’s Department of Malayalam over alleged violation of norms and favouritism.

The Governor issued a show-cause notice to Kannur University Vice Chancellor Prof Gopinath Ravindran.

Ravindran told the media in Kannur that he will challenge the Governor’s stay order in the court.

In a media release, the Raj Bhavan stated that Khan, in his capacity as Chancellor of the university, “stayed the Resolution (No. 2022.313 dated 27.06.2022) of Kannur University Syndicate and all further proceedings pursuant to the selection procedure…with immediate effect until further orders”.

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It stated that Khan “invoked provisions of Section 7(3) of Kannur University Act, 1996, in this decision. Show cause notices to all stakeholders are being issued separately. The decision of the Hon’ble Chancellor has been conveyed to the University.”


Combat mode

Arif Mohammed Khan has had many face-offs with the Kerala government since his appointment as Governor in 2019. Khan’s decision to stay Priya Varghese’s appointment comes a day after the state Cabinet ratified the draft of a Bill, to be presented in the Assembly later this month, that proposes to curtail the power of Governor, as Chancellor of state universities, in appointment of vice-chancellors.

Referring to controversial appointments in Kannur University, Khan had on Tuesday said that he is surprised that the opinion of “everyone” is sought, “but as a Chancellor, I am kept in the dark”.

He said: “The reason would be that they want to hide irregularities. It appears as if in Kannur University, violations of law, norms and decency have become a rule.”


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Last week, a panel against corruption in the higher education sector, called the ‘Save University Campaign Committee’, had submitted to the Governor that Varghese was selected by the university over several “deserving candidates”.

First published on: 18-08-2022 at 03:09:20 am
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