The Kerala High Court on Monday cancelled the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor of Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS), saying that he was appointed in violation of University Grants Commission (UGC) norms. A bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly said regulations of the UGC that mandate that a list of three or more candidates be forwarded to the Chancellor for appointment were not followed in the case of Dr K Riji John being appointed as Vice-Chancellor of KUFOS.The court also said that the Chancellor may initiate the process of forming a search committee to select a new Vice-Chancellor and added that, henceforth, the selection of the Vice-Chancellor should strictly follow the UGC norms. The order came on two pleas challenging the appointment of Dr John. The detailed high court order is not yet available. The order vindicates Governor Arif Mohammed Khan’s recent action seeking Dr John’s resignation on the same grounds after the Supreme Court had held that according to UGC norms, the search committee constituted by the state should have recommended a panel of not less than three suitable people.Mr Khan had, thereafter, sent a show cause notice to Dr John asking why he should be allowed to continue as Vice-Chancellor in view of the apex court ruling which came while setting aside the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor of APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University on the ground that it was in violation of UGC norms.
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