Kerala Governor declines to accept Sree Narayanaguru Open University’s VC’s resignation

In a letter sent by the Raj Bhavan to the university, Khan said that he was also not going to treat the resignation letter as a notice by the VC.


Published Mar 22, 2024 | 12:06 PMUpdatedMar 22, 2024 | 12:06 PM

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan at the Central University of Gujarat

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, as Chancellor of the universities in the state, on Thursday, 21 March, declined to accept the resignation given by the Vice-Chancellor (VC) of Sree Narayanaguru Open University.

Khan said that any decision on whether PM Mubarak Pasha ought to continue as VC of the university would be taken after getting certain clarifications from the University Grants Commission (UGC).

In a letter sent by the Raj Bhavan to the university, Khan said that he was also not going to treat the resignation letter as a notice by the VC.

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The resignation

Pasha had conveyed his intention to resign on 22 February and asked that his letter be treated as notice under Section 11(9), Chapter 3 of Sree Narayanaguru Open University Act, 2021 and that he be relieved at the earliest from the post.

He had made the requests through letters dated 26 February and 19 March also, the Raj Bhavan’s letter to the university said.

It said that these requests were made by him while he was under a notice issued by the Chancellor as to why his appointment may not be declared illegal and void ab initio.

Governor in a letter said, “This notice was challenged by Shri Pasha, before the High Court. Now the same matter is under consideration before me, in the wake of the judgement of the High Court of Kerala dated 25 January, 2024.”

“I had conducted a hearing on February 24, 2024 to hear the affected parties including the UGC. During the hearing, the UGC offered to clarify on some points and the same is awaited,” Khan has said in the letter.

In these circumstances, it would be “detrimental to the justice” if his resignation is accepted as requested by him, the letter said.

“Accordingly, I decide neither to treat his letter as notice under section 1l(9) of the Sree Narayanaguru Open University Act, 2021, nor to accept his resignation as Vice Chancellor, Sree Narayanaguru Open University. The decision will be taken after receiving the UGC clarification,” it said.

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High Court orders

The Kerala High Court had in January this year asked the Chancellor to give a hearing to the VCs, to whom notices were issued regarding their appointments, within six weeks and directed that any decision taken subsequently not be implemented for 10 days, the source said.

The high court order came on the pleas moved by several VCs who were issued show cause notices by the governor asking why they should not be removed from their posts as their appointments were allegedly in violation of the UGC norms.

The show cause notices were issued following the Supreme Court’s October 2022 decision quashing the appointment of the VC of APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University on the ground that it was contrary to UGC regulations.

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