Kerala govt to challenge inviolability of UGC norms in Supreme Court, Legal News, ET LegalWorld – Legal Firms

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Close on the heels of former KTU VC MS Rajasree filing a review petition against the Supreme Court order that declared her selection to the post void ab initio, the government is also preparing to file a review petition this week itself.

Rajasree, who filed a review petition in her individual capacity before the apex court on Wednesday, prayed that the retrospective effect of the SC verdict that declared her appointment invalid should be revoked. Rajasree said she was not responsible for the violation of UGC regulations by the selection committee that recommended only a single name to the post of KTU VC. Since she was not a party to the violation of UGC norms, she should not be punished for something that wasn’t under her control .

Meanwhile, the government will be focusing on another aspect of the case. Sources said government will try to question the very premise on which SC had passed the order. It is learnt that former attorney general KK Venugopal has advised that government can have a valid case if it questions the paramount importance the court gave to UGC regulations.

It was in the backdrop of this legal advice the government received that the CPM general secretary raised the same argument at the dharna in front of Raj Bhavan on Tuesday. He said that UGC norms being subordinate laws should not be considered superior to the legislations passed by state governments.

Sources said the government firmly believes that the question on the supremacy of UGC regulations were never questioned in courts with due preparation and seriousness by any state. “While UGC norms are prepared by a seven-member panel, it cannot claim supremacy over the acts passed by Centre or state governments. State governments shoulder a majority of the expenses incurred by state universities. There is no rationale in the arguments that state government has no right to replace UGC nominees with subject experts when search panels are set up for the selection of VCs in universities that deal with niche areas, such as fisheries or digital technology,” they said.

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