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Panjab University V-C stripped of Syndicate powers over affidavit in HC

The V-C had submitted an affidavit in HC stating that the university’s governing structure needed ‘serious reforms’. Taking note of the plea, the court had put the Centre on notice.

punjab Updated: Apr 29, 2018 22:59 IST
Arshdeep Arshi
Arshdeep Arshi
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Panjab University vice-chancellor Arun Kumar Grover (HT File)

Panjab University Syndicate in a meeting on Sunday revoked its powers assigned to vice-chancellor Arun Kumar Grover after he refused to withdraw his affidavit submitted before the Punjab and Haryana high court where he stated that PU regulatory bodies needed “serious reform”.

In its previous meeting on April 21, the 15-member Syndicate had asked the V-C in a letter-cum-resolution to withdraw the affidavit from the court as he had not brought it for discussion in the Syndicate before submitting it. Turning the direction down, the V-C had stated that he will inform the court that the affidavit was submitted in his personal capacity.

Syndic Ashok Goyal said, “It was resolved at the meeting to report the matter to the university chancellor for action against the V-C as he submitted an affidavit containing undesirable language against the Senate and Syndicate, that too, without any authority and jurisdiction.”

“It was also resolved to file an affidavit before the high court through the registrar in the ongoing case, stating that the affidavit filed by the V-C on behalf of PU be treated as withdrawn,” syndic Prabhjit Singh added.

A three-member committee, including syndics Navdeep Goyal, Ashok Goyal and Subhash Sharma has been appointed by the Syndicate to get the affidavit prepared and filed by the registrar before the Senate meeting on May 6.

“If the V-C has lost trust in the Syndicate, the Syndicate, too, has lost trust in him,” the syndics said.

One Syndic backs V-C

Of the 13 members present, only syndic Ronki Ram spoke in support of the V-C. “If the V-C as an individual has felt something, he can submit an affidavit. The Syndicate can submit another affidavit as a counter view,” he said.

Opposing the Syndicate’s move to withdraw powers from the V-C, Ram said, “The V-C has said that he will submit another affidavit stating that the Syndicate has no role in his first plea, and he had drafted it himself. The Syndicate should not have any problem after this.”

The bone of contention

Four months before his retirement, Grover on April 17 had submitted an affidavit in HC stating that the university’s governing structure needed ‘serious reforms’. Taking note of the plea, the court had put the Centre on notice.

The affidavit stated that groupism in the 91-member PU senate, the apex governing body, has reached such a sorry state that discussions do not happen on merit and factionalism prevails.

It also put a question mark on elections for deans of faculties and graduate constituency of the Senate.

Earlier in August 2016, Grover had said the varsity was being “controlled by a mafia” who are out to ruin the institution. He had specifically pointed out how a professor from social sciences was elected to the Syndicate on the behalf of the science fraternity.

First Published: Apr 29, 2018 21:42 IST