'Nowhere in Constitution, UGC does it say Chancellor should be Gov'

Khan was speaking at a book launch event where he released a book- CH Muhammed Koya: Ariyatha Kathakal, written by Advocate VK Beeran about Kerala's former Chief Minister CH Muhammed Koya.
Kerala law minister P Rajeev
Kerala law minister P RajeevANI

KOCHI: Hitting back at Kerala Governor Arif Muhammad Khan over his orders demanding the resignation of the vice-chancellors of nine universities in the state, law minister P Rajeev has said nowhere in any regulation of the University Grants Commission (UGC) or in the Constitution does it say that the Chancellor should be the Governor.

This comes as Kerala Governor Arif Muhammad Khan while pointing out the issue of the VC appointment to various universities in Kerala said the Supreme Court itself had earlier made it clear that the appointment of the vice-chancellors was the responsibility of the Governor.

Reacting to this, the law minister P Rajeev made a scathing attack on the Governer and said, "Governor and Chancellor are two. Governor is a constitutional position. Chancellor is a statutory position. Chancellor is a position with only powers conferred by laws passed by the legislature. That can be X or Y. Nowhere in the Constitution of India does it say that the Chancellor should be the Governor. Nowhere in any regulation of the University Grants Commission (UGC) does it say that the Chancellor should be the Governor."

Moreover, the law minister also responded to Kerala Governor's statement where he drew parallels between Punjab and Kerala saying Kerala is replacing Punjab as the capital of drugs.

Minister Rajeev in a strong statement said, "Some have declared war on Kerala. Who are in a responsible position is doing that?" "The speciality of Kerala is that any crime will be registered in Kerala. Kerala is a state where the rule of law prevails. In Kerala, the government is taking a very strong and uncompromising action against drug usage."

"At present, there are limitations in central laws. We demand that it be overcome. State Government is taking strong action against drugs. Many people are making a deliberate conspiracy to defame Kerala. Not sure if this is part of it. All responsible people should respond based on facts. Speeches and statements one makes while sitting in a responsible position should be based on facts." Earlier, Criticising the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Kerala government for its liquor policy, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Saturday said the state is on the process of replacing Punjab as the "capital of drugs". Governor Khan said that while everyone was carrying out campaigns against the consumption of alcohol, the state government of Kerala was encouraging it.

"Here, we have decided that lottery and alcohol are enough for our development. What a shameful situation for a state which has 100 per cent literacy. As head of the state, I feel ashamed. What is the lottery? You are robbing them. You are making your people addicted to alcohol. Do you know today what is the position? Kerala is replacing Punjab as the capital of drugs. Everybody carries campaigns against liquor consumption and here liquor consumption is encouraged. What a shame?" Khan said at a book launch event.

Khan was speaking at a book launch event where he released a book- CH Muhammed Koya: Ariyatha Kathakal, written by Advocate VK Beeran about Kerala's former Chief Minister CH Muhammed Koya.

"Supreme Court has made it clear appointment of Vice Chancellor is the only responsibility of the Chancellor. The state government has no role in it," he said. Giving reference to the recent human sacrifice case in the state, Khan said, "Human sacrifices are happening in Kerala. How can you put these criminals with the ordinary people of Kerala?"

Governor Khan also attacked the Kerala ministers who questioned his authority. "A Kerala minister is asking whether a governor from Uttar Pradesh can understand the education system of Kerala. Please don't cross the line. Yesterday the SC made it clear. If you will say, these judge is from Maharashtra, then you will land yourself in trouble," Khan said and termed it as ignorant. Kerala Governor, who is at loggerheads with the state government over various issues questioned the government over unemployment in the state.

"They have a minister who has the language of Pakistan. If they continue with them, it's up to them," he said.

Kerala Higher Education Minister R Bindu on Sunday also hit back at Governor Arif Mohammad Khan and said that his order demanding the resignation of the vice-chancellors of nine universities in the state was unfortunate.

Addressing the media here on Sunday, R Bindu said, "The governor's action is a unilateral one. The order, which was taken without consulting the government, is regrettable. "This is an attempt to create stagnation in the higher education sector. The decision is a setback for the sector without a doubt," she further said. "To date, has any governor issued such an order in the country? This is a painful situation. This can be seen as part of a thought to interfere in government activities. In the higher education sector, our universities are making exceptional achievements," she added.

She also said that the universities were doing well under the vice-chancellors whose resignation was demanded by the Governor. "Under the leadership of these VCs, Kerala University has got A++ and Calicut, Kaladi and Cusat Universities has got A +," she said condemning the move.

Meanwhile, Kerala Law and Industries Minister P Rajeev on Thursday reacted to the order of state Governor Arif Mohammad Khan to sack 15 members of Kerala University and said that he would check if the passed order was procedural.

"Everything must be legal here, I will check whether the order was based on some procedure or not," Kerala Law Minister P Rajeev said. Terming the university an "autonomous institution", Rajeev had said that he will probe the orders of the Governor.

"The University is an autonomous institution. Everything must be legal here. If you look at the court's judgments, you will understand how to use the concept of pressure. At first glance, this is not a common occurrence by the Governor. I will check whether the order which sacked the senate members was based on procedures," Rajeev said addressing a press conference in Kochi.

Kerala Governor, who is at loggerheads with the state government over various issues, criticised the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Kerala government for its liquor policy earlier on Saturday and said that the state is on the process of replacing Punjab as the "capital of drugs". Governor Khan said that while everyone was carrying out campaigns against the consumption of alcohol, the state government of Kerala was encouraging it.

"Finance minister whose main source of revenue is alcohol and lottery, is raising the question whether the governor who is from UP can understand the Kerala education system. But I would advise him that don't make the same comment about the judges of SC," he said.

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