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Gujarat High Court Stays Removal Of Vice-Chancellor Of Gujarat Vidyapith University

PRIYANKA PREET
6 April 2022 5:44 AM GMT
Gujarat High Court Stays Removal Of Vice-Chancellor Of Gujarat Vidyapith University
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The Gujarat High Court has stayed the removal of the Vice-Chancellor of the Gujarat Vidyapith (Deemed to be University) Ahmedabad pursuant to the decision taken by the University Grants Commission in November 2021 directing the Chancellor to remove the Petitioner-Vice Chancellor. The Petitioner approached the High Court challenging the decision of the UGC and claimed that the removal...

The Gujarat High Court has stayed the removal of the Vice-Chancellor of the Gujarat Vidyapith (Deemed to be University) Ahmedabad pursuant to the decision taken by the University Grants Commission in November 2021 directing the Chancellor to remove the Petitioner-Vice Chancellor.

The Petitioner approached the High Court challenging the decision of the UGC and claimed that the removal was in breach of Regulation 10.12.2.E of the UGC (Institutions Deemed To Be Universities) Regulations, 2019.

The High Court's attention was drawn to the minutes of the pertinent meeting of the UGC held in November 2021 wherein the Committee concluded that there were several lapses in the appointment of Dr Rajendra Khimani as Vice Chancellor of the University. Further, the Fact Finding Committee constituted separately found that Dr Khimani was responsible for certain lapses in the administrative and financial functioning of the University as a Registrar from 2004-2019. Accordingly, as stipulated in Clause 10.12.13.E of the UGC Regulations 2018, the Vice-Chancellor was liable to be removed with immediate effects and if the University failed to comply with the same, their grants could be withheld.

It was contested that under Regulation 10.12.2, the Vice Chancellor was a whole-time salaried officer of the institution and under Regulation 10.12.3.E.(f), the UGC possessed the power to remove him if he did not possess the right qualifications under the regulations.

The Bench observed that prima facie the University was compelled to remove the Vice-Chancellor without following the due process which entails following the basic principles of natural justice. Therefore, Justice Biren Vaishnav issued notice to the Respondents and prohibited UGC from taking any further coercive steps pursuant to the minutes of the pertinent UGC meeting. It was also directed that no further decision be taken pursuant to the directions of the UGC meeting of November 2021.

Case Title: Rajendra Amulakh Khimani Versus The University Grants Commission

Case No.: C/SCA/5608/2022

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