President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday approved the dismissal of Visva-Bharati vice-chancellor Sushanta Dattagupta, the first instance of sacking of the VC of a central university. Dattagupta was scheduled to retire in November this year.
Earlier this month, the HRD ministry had sent the file recommending the dismissal of Dattagupta to the President, who is the Visitor of all central universities. Dattagupta is facing charges of administrative and financial irregularities. The President’s approval came after the Union law ministry and the attorney-general said there was nothing illegal about the recommendation seeking the removal of the VC.
President Mukherjee had twice returned the file relating to Dattagupta to the HRD ministry, the latest in November last year, asking whether denying the VC a “hearing in person” on allegations levelled against him was legally tenable.
HT had reported several times that Dattagupta was facing charges of serious financial irregularities. Even though he was drawing his salary from Visva-Bharati, he continued to draw pension from an earlier assignment. Under the law, he was required to have his pension amount deducted from the pay he received from Visva-Bharati as the VC.
Dattagupta was also charged with making several irregular appointments by creating post for which he had no sanction.