In a dramatic turn of events, Visva Bharati Vice-Chancellor Sushanta Dattagupta emailed his resignation to the President’s office Wednesday evening, a few days after the government made damning observations about his conduct as the head of the institution. Dattagupta was appointed the V-C in 2011 by the UPA-II government and still had a year left in his tenure.
As first reported by The Indian Express on September 22, the HRD Ministry had sent its final report on the V-C to President Pranab Mukherjee last week, finding him guilty of gross misconduct and dereliction of duty.
The final report had set the stage for what, perhaps, would have been the first-ever sacking of a central university head. Dattagupta, however, resigned before a final decision could be taken. Sources said he quit, claiming he was being victimised by the new government and the enemies he made while serving as the university V-C.
Dattagupta and President’s press secretary Venu Rajamony did not respond to calls and SMSes left by The Indian Express. HRD Ministry spokesperson Ghanshyam Goel was unavailable for comment.
Sources said the government will accept his resignation. However, there is little clarity on whether the President can accept a letter of resignation sent via email. “The President may ask for a hardcopy of his (Dattagupta’s) resignation with his signature,” the source added.
Dattagupta’s fate has been uncertain ever since the ministry set up a probe against him after Congress MP from Bengal P. Bhattacharya raised the issue of alleged irregularities in the Rajya Sabha’s Winter Session last year.
The inquiry was conducted by Justice Sakharam Singh Yadav, former judge of Allahabad high court, B. Data, chairman of Sri Aurobindo Institute of Indian Culture in Shillong, and Dilip K Chakrabarti, professor of South Asian Archaeology, University of Cambridge, and a member of Indian Council of Historical Research. The committee submitted its report to the ministry on March 27.
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