RAJ BHAWAN has quashed the appointment of AK Bajpai to the post of professor in the Lucknow University Economics Department. The LU Executive Council had appointed Bajpai in July 2004 through a draw of lots, as there was a tie between him and Arvind Mohan, another contender for the post. Raj Bhawan has asked the LU vice-chancellor to explain as why to a draw of lots was resorted to when there was no provision of appointment through such a process in the varsity statutes. The Governor termed the appointment methodology “illegal” and directed the varsity to table the academic documents, achievements and publications of both the candidates afresh before the executive council for deliberation.
LU registrar AK Damele has confirmed that the Raj Bhawan order has reached the university. The university would study the two-page order and act accordingly, Damele said. “Since we were all caught up with the executive council meeting, we have not been able to study it well. After studying the directives, we will act accordingly and communicate the order to Bajpai,” he added.
Yet another official of LU confirmed the varsity received the order, but declined to speak much on the issue.
In July 2004, there were two contenders for the professor’s post in the Economics Department. The selection committee did not recommend any particular name. As a result, both the names were put before the executive council members. The case was hotly debated following which a vote was conducted. Both the contenders polled an equal number of votes. To break the deadlock, the LU held a lottery which Bajpai won. Hence, he was appointed as professor.
Arvind Mohan, thereafter, moved a petition with Raj Bhawan, challenging Bajpai’s appointment. His plea was that there was no provision of lottery and hence the appointment should be cancelled.
After two years, the Raj Bhawan issued directives to LU to quash Bajpai’s appointment as the whole exercise was illegal because there was no reference of appointment through voting.
The decision has put the smile back on the face of Mohan.