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Principals and teachers appointments in violation of UGC norms illegal: Kerala High Court

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The Hindu | 

It is ‘inconsequential’ that university statutes have not been amended, says court.

In a judgment that could cost the jobs of many college teachers, a Full Bench of the Kerala High Court has held that appointments made to posts of principals and teachers made in universities and various affiliated colleges in contravention of the University Grants Commission (UGC) Regulations after 2010 are illegal. Overruling a verdict by a Division Bench on the UGC norm implementation, the Full Bench comprising Justice Antony Dominic, Justice A. Hariprasad, and Justice P.B. Sureshkumar observed on Tuesday that in view of the adoption of the UGC Regulations-2010 by the State government with effect from September 18, 2010, the Universities and affiliated colleges in the State “are bound to comply with the UGC Regulations 2010”, irrespective of whether the University Acts or the statutes framed thereunder “are amended in line with the UGC regulations or not”.

The Bench further made it clear that the selections made after the Government Order dated December 10, 2010 could only be “in compliance with the said Regulations”. The fact that the university statutes had not been amended was “inconsequential”. The court made the ruling while deciding a batch of writ petitions challenging appointments of principals and promotions of teachers under various colleges affiliated to the University of Kerala and Mahatma Gandhi University.  The writ petitions were referred to the Full Bench as a single judge expressed his doubt whether the ruling given in the Ravindran case could be sustained in view of various Supreme Court judgments upholding the UGC regulations. In the S.N. College Vs. N. Ravindran case, a Division Bench had held that as necessary amendments were not brought to the University statutes, the management of affiliated colleges were not bound to follow the regulations.

Amendments

The Division Bench had also added that it was for the State government and university authorities to take steps to carry out necessary amendments in the University Act and Statutes and issue orders accordingly.

Selection grade lecturers

The petitions which had come up before the Full Bench, the petitioners had contended that only those selection grade lectures who had Ph.D. qualifications as mandated by the UG Regulations could be appointed as principals. Some other petitions challenged the university action in not awarding marks indicted in the Academic performance Indicator in terms UGC regulations during promotions. The universities and the college authorities argued that the UGC Regulations did not have any relevance as long as appointments were made in terms of the University statutes.  –  Courtesy

Kerala High Court Throws UGC Rule Book at College Teachers :  By Express News Service : 24th February 2016 | The New Indian Express |

KOCHI:  In a landmark verdict which may affect the appointment of 100-odd teachers, a Full Bench of the Kerala High Court on Tuesday held that appointments to the post of principals and teachers made in universities and various affiliated colleges in contravention of the University Grants Commission Regulation after 2010 are illegal. The Full Bench comprising Justice Antony Dominic, Justice A Hariprasad and Justice P B Sureshkumar issued the order while considering an issue whether the UGC regulation was applicable while making appointments to the post of principal in colleges affiliated to the universities in the state. The Bench said UGC Regulations 2010 were adopted by the state and implemented with effect from September 18, 2010. Hence, the regulations should be complied with by the universities in the state. Selections held thereafter could only be in compliance with these regulations. The fact that the university statutes were not amended is inconsequential. Overruling a 2001 verdict by a Division Bench, the Bench observed that irrespective of whether the University Acts or the statutes framed thereunder are amended in line with the UGC Regulations or not, in view of its adoption by the state government, the universities and affiliated colleges in the state are bound to comply with the UGC Regulations 2010.

The Division Bench had then held that since necessary amendments have not been incorporated in the university statutes, it cannot be held that the management of affiliated colleges are bound to follow the same. The Bench had said it is for the state government and universities to take steps to carry out necessary amendments in the University Act and statutes and issue orders accordingly.  Since the qualifications prescribed by the UGC were not incorporated in the statutes, the University Tribunal was not justified in holding that the selection conducted by the management on the basis of the existing provisions of the University Act and Statutes is bad in law.  The petitioners had contended that only those selection grade lectures who have PhD as mandated in the UGC Rules can be appointed as principal. Some other petitions challenge the university action in not awarding marks indicated in the academic performance indicator in terms of UGC rules. –  Courtesy

Following UGC regulations must in university appointments: Kerala High Court  :  Mahir Haneef | The Times of India | TNN | February 23, 2016 |

KOCHI: Even if universities in the State have not adopted UGC Regulations in their statutes, appointments have to be made as per the 2010 regulations as the state government has adopted it, a full bench of the Kerala High Court held on Tuesday.  The full bench comprising of justices Antony Dominic, A Hariprasad, and PB Suresh Kumar considered a batch of petitions filed by lecturers with doctoral degrees questioning appointment of non-PhD lecturers as principals of colleges based on seniority.  “Irrespective of whether the University Act enacted under Entry 25 of List III or the Statutes framed thereunder are amended in line with the UGC Regulations or not, in view of its adoption by the State of Kerala with effect from 18.9.2010 as per government order dated 10.12.2010, the Universities and affiliated colleges in Kerala State are bound to comply with the UGC Regulations, 2010,” the judgment said.

Further, the full bench overruled a 2001 decision by a division bench of the high court that allowed universities not to implement the UGC Regulations as they have not been incorporated in the university statutes. Without making any amendment to the university statutes, it is not possible to insist that UGC Regulations must be followed, the division bench had held then. The full bench now pointed out that the UGC Regulations were adopted by the state government in December 2010 and, therefore, selections held thereafter can only be in compliance with the Regulations. Referring to the Supreme Court’s decision in March last year (Kalyani Mathivanan vs KV Jeyaraj case), the high court said in the event of a repugnancy between the UGC Regulations and the regulations framed thereunder and the university enactments and statutes, the latter will be void. Therefore, the fact that the University Statutes were not amended is inconsequential, the full bench said. –  Courtesy        /         Click here to Download / Read / View the Judgement (livelaw.in) – 45 pages


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