The Kerala High Court on Friday prevented Governor Arif Mohammed Khan from appointing new members to the senate of Kerala University to replace 15 Senate members removed by him in his capacity as the chancellor of universities two days ago.
Considering a plea filed by the ousted senate members challenging the Governor’s action, the high court also sought explanation from the Raj Bhavan and directed it to produce all documents related to the matter. The court will consider the matter again on October 31.
In their plea, the ousted senate members sought to quash the notification issued by the Governor, as the chancellor of universities in the state, contending that it was an illegal order. The notification was issued as his October 15 direction to the Vice Chancellor of Kerala University to immediately remove the Senate members had not been complied with.
The gazette notification had said that by a letter dated October 15, 2022, the order of the Chancellor withdrawing his pleasure, with effect from that day, in allowing the Senate members to continue was communicated. “Now, therefore, in pursuance to this, the Chancellor is also pleased to notify the withdrawal of the above Senate members nominated as per the above provisions with effect from October 15, 2022,” the notification had said.
Khan had ordered the removal of Senate members after his repeated directions to hold a senate meeting and provide a nominee of the Senate for the selection committee went unheeded, sources in Raj Bhavan had said. The selection committee was to appoint a Vice-Chancellor, the sources had said.
Khan’s October 15 decision was criticised by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who on Tuesday at a press conference here, had said that it was not according to law.