The Delhi High Court has sought response of the Netaji Subhas University of Technology (NSUT) on a plea challenging the appointment of its vice chancellor, terming it “illegal”, “arbitrary” and contrary to UGC guidelines.
Justices G S Sistani and Jyoti Singh issued a notice to NSUT, vice chancellor (VC) J P Saini, University Grant Commission (UGC) and the department of training and technical education of the Delhi government, asking them to file their replies on the petition within four weeks.
The plea, filed by a professor of NSUT, Sachin Maheshwari, alleged that the appointment of Saini as the university’s first vice chancellor was “illegal”, “arbitrary”, “malafide” and contrary to UGC guidelines.
“The chancellor has not applied his mind,” it claimed.
The plea, filed through advocate Tarkeshwar Nath, claimed that neither a search committee was constituted nor the post advertised anywhere inviting application from eligible candidates to ensure that a person with the highest level of competence, integrity and institutional commitment is appointed as vice chancellor as per the guidelines.
It further alleged that Saini, who was appointed as the VC on September 26, 2018, was facing several allegations of misconduct and irregularities.
“Saini has several allegations of misconduct and irregularities against him, including that of plagiarism which otherwise disqualify him to be appointed as vice-chancellor of a university,” it read.
The plea also claimed that Saini’s appointment was pre-determined, pre-decided and well planned which was clear from the stand taken by NSUT where they had made a categorical statement justifying the change of criteria in the advertisement for the appointment of director.
“The change was made just to appoint Prof Saini as Vice Chancellor after conversion of the institute into a university,” it alleged.
The 2018 notification that said the first five VCs would be appointed by the chancellor was against the UGC guidelines, the plea claimed.
“Even the formation of search-cum-selection committee with members as enshrined under the said notification is contrary to UGC Guidelines… No member nominated by the chairman of the UGC has been placed in the committee and therefore, is illegal and unsustainable,” it said.