Senate member files petition against new University of Mumbai registrar
Days after the new registrar took charge at the University of Mumbai (MU) amidst protests from several university officials including the vice-chancellor, a senate member on Monday moved the Bombay high court (HC) against the government appointment.
In a writ petition submitted before the HC, petitioner Dhanesh Sawant stated that the appointment of the new registrar Ramdas Atram is arbitrary, unreasonable and in utter disregard of the provisions of the Maharashtra State Universities Act, 2016.
“The post of registrar was filled on a temporary basis by the university vice-chancellor a few months ago, exercising sections of the Act. What the state government has done is exercise the same power in less than six months for another temporary appointment, which is not needed,” said Anjali Helekar, advocate representing Sawant.
“Appointment of a registrar has to be done as per law by the vice-chancellor, on the recommendation of a select committee constituted for the purpose. Even the temporary post has to be handed to someone appropriate for the post by the vice-chancellor only,” states the petition.
Despite repeated attempts, Atram was unavailable for comment.
On January 15, the university’s Fort campus witnessed high-power drama as Atram was not allowed to take his post by vice-chancellor Suhas Pednekar who waited for clarity from the state government. The drama ended only at 5pm after the state government clarified and reaffirmed the appointment, following which Atram officially took over the post.
The state government on January 8 had released a notification confirming Atram’s appointment as the registrar for the university. This post had been lying vacant since July 2020 after the death of former registrar Ajay Deshmukh. The state government notification states that Atram’s post as the registrar has been approved for only one year.
Following this, Pednekar had on January 13 written to the state government to rethink their decision, stating that the current in-charge registrar Gaikwad “has been doing well at the post”.
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