Justice Devan Ramachandran criticized the state government for its petition questioning the decision of the Chancellor of APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University to appoint an interim vice-chancellor. If there was a dispute, the stakeholders should have tried to appoint a vice chancellor soon instead of litigating, the court said.
“The concept of universities around the world is now obtaining a profound change with innovations and breakthroughs in technology and thoughts, being the cornerstone of every educational endeavour. The Covid-19 pandemic scenario has shown how important universities are, with the Oxford University obtaining breakthrough for a vaccine in record time and with the Washington University being able to formulate a nasal vaccine for the first time in the world. The importance of a university and its purpose can never be lost sight of and can never be understated; with its reputation being forged and built on the success of its students on an international arena. The reputation of a university, once lost, would be very difficult to redeem, and I would’ve expected the stakeholders to be fully aware of this while any litigation or disputes are brought out into the public forum,” the court said.
Further, the court said the stakeholders should effectively analyse whether the benefits of litigation would outweigh the damage caused by open ventilation of disputes between two high constitutional functionaries, as well as the impact of such action on the students, the academicians, and the public.
While requesting all the stakeholders to work together to appoint a vice chancellor at the earliest, the court said, “Whatever be the correctness of the allegations made against each other, the fact remains that it is the students who are now put to the detriment. The university in question has a virtual monopoly over all technological disciplines, which is the cornerstone of the development of a state or a nation, and if students are to believe that their interests are detrimentally affected on account of disputes which are beyond their realm and beyond their concern, it would be a sad day for it as also the State of Kerala as a whole.”