Kerala Governor asks state VCs to return public money used to pay legal charges

Thiruvananthapuram, Jul 10 (IANS): Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Wednesday asked sacked Vice-Chancellors of various universities to return the legal expenses incurred to fight their termination, if it was paid from the funds of the varsities concerned.

The direction of the Governor, who is the Chancellor of the universities, came on a complaint.

Trouble began for the Vice-Chancellors after a Congress legislator raised this issue in the ongoing Assembly session and Higher Education Minister Dr R. Bindu revealed that a sum of Rs 1.13 crore was paid by seven Vice-Chancellors in the state from the funds of the universities.

In 2022, Governor Khan, as the Chancellor, had terminated the service of Vice-Chancellors based on a Supreme Court order. Some of these Vice Chancellors moved the High Court and Supreme Court and paid the legal expenses from public funds.

In his latest order, the Governor has said that if any public funds were used, these should be returned as anyone fighting their own case should do it with their own money. He has ordered the universities concerned that he should be intimated on the action taken on this order.

Incidentally, it has also come to light that Kannur University also spent an amount of Rs 7,80,000 already to fight the expenses to fight the case of the illegal appointment of Dr Priya Varghese as Associate Professor.

Varghese’s husband K.K.Ragesh is a former Rajya Sabha member and the Private Secretary of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

The complaint to the Governor was made by the Save University Campaign Committee headed by R.S. Sasikumar, who said that all these decisions (of utilising public funds for the Vice-Chancellors) are patently illegal and the said decisions of the respective Syndicates should be declared null and void and the amount spent illegally for the purpose should be recovered from the respective officers/individuals/authorities with penal interest.



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Title: Kerala Governor asks state VCs to return public money used to pay legal charges

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