Prof Eqbal Hussain moves Delhi High Court challenging order quashing his appointment as Jamia officiating V-C : The Tribune India

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Prof Eqbal Hussain moves Delhi High Court challenging order quashing his appointment as Jamia officiating V-C

Hussain’s appeal is listed for hearing on Monday

Prof Eqbal Hussain moves Delhi High Court challenging order quashing his appointment as Jamia officiating V-C

Photo for representational purpose only. File



PTI

New Delhi, May 26

Professor Eqbal Hussain has approached the Delhi High Court challenging a single judge’s order quashing his appointment as the Pro Vice Chancellor and subsequently as Officiating Vice Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia.

Hussain’s appeal is listed for hearing on Monday before a division bench of Justices Rekha Palli and Saurabh Banerjee.

The single judge of the high court had on May 22 quashed the appointment of Hussain as the Pro Vice Chancellor (VC) and subsequently as Officiating VC of Jamia, holding that the appointments were not made in conformity with the relevant statute.

It had, however, directed to ensure that the academic and administrative machinery of the university does not suffer or come to a complete halt and that fresh appointment to the post of officiating VC be made within one week.

The court had also asked the ‘Visitor’, who is the President of India, to order initiation of the process of appointing a regular VC in the meantime.

“A writ of Quo Warranto is issued quashing the appointment of respondent no.2 (Hussain) at the first instance as Pro Vice Chancellor by office order dated September 14, 2023 and as Officiating Vice Chancellor by office order dated November 12, 2023.

“Since the respondent no. 2 has not been appointed in terms of the Statute, his continuation in the office of Vice Chancellor as the Officiating Vice Chancellor cannot be permitted further,” the court had ordered while dealing with petitions by Md. Shami Ahmad Ansari and others.

“The appointment of the VC (Officiating)/ Administrator (Temporary) shall be done within a period of 1 week from the date of receipt of the present order. The initiation of appointment to the post of Vice Chancellor on regular basis shall commence not later than two weeks of the appointment of Vice Chancellor (Officiating)/ Administrator (Temporary) and be completed within 30 days thereafter,” it had said.

On September 14, 2023, then VC Prof Najma Akhtar had appointed Hussain as the Pro VC of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI). Subsequently, upon Akhtar’s superannuation on November 12, 2023, another notification was issued by the office of the Registrar about Hussain assuming the charge of Officiating VC.

The petitioners had contended that both the appointments were in violation of the provisions of the JMI Act and regulations issued by the UGC.

The court had observed that as per the procedure provided in the laws governing JMI, Hussain’s name, as a recommended candidate of then VC for Pro VC’s post, ought to have been placed before the Executive Council for its approval prior to his appointment.

It had added that in case of any disagreement, the matter had to be referred to the Visitor for either overriding the council’s decision or remitting the case back to the VC for recommending a fresh name.

“It would yet again be the EC (Executive Council) which alone would have the jurisdiction to appoint the fresh incumbent, if the need so arises. Having regard to the above analysis and findings on facts, it is crystal clear that the mandate of Statute 4 of the Statutes of the University was not followed,” the court had stated.

Having held that the initial appointment as pro VC was contrary to and in violation of the statutes, the court had concluded that the subsequent appointment of Hussain as officiating VC was also not legally valid.

The court had said that no “emergent situation” had obtained at the time of Hussain’s appointment as the officiating VC to show compliance with the statute as the fact that the erstwhile VC was going to demit office was known to all and sundry and the statute provides that the senior-most professor, who is one of the petitioners, can be appointed as the officiating VC.


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