Gujarat Governor Kamla has refused to sign an ordinance extending the retirement age of vice-chancellors of the state’s agricultural universities from 65 to 70.
According to constitutional provisions, the governor can return an ordinance once but is bound to sign it if it is sent back without any change by the government.
The Narendra Modi government’s ordinance, passed by the cabinet on June 30, was sent for the governor’s assent with a request that it be signed the same day. However, Governor Kamla (who uses one name) sent it back, asking the government what the urgency was all about.
Sources in the state secretariat said the move to promulgate the ordinance was meant to benefit the vice-chancellor of Anand Agricultural University, M.C. Varshneya, who retired on June 30 after turning 65.
Varshneya is considered close to the CM and is backed by top leaders of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, an official said.
Another official said that by questioning the urgency of the ordinance, the governor has indicated that the state government should go to the assembly to amend the law to enhance the retirement age.
Agriculture Minister Dilip Sanghani said: “An ordinance means there is some urgency and should be signed the same day. The state government has right to bring an ordinance when assembly is not in session.”