Only a few days after the Telangana state government issued GO and appointed Vice-Chancellors to various universities, the Hyderabad High Court invalidated all the appointments as they were made without discussion with the Governor.
GO Ms Nos 28, 29, 38 and 1 were issued by the state government between the timespan of September 2015 and January 2016 that gave them the authority to appoint Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors of their choosing. A bench of judges invalidated all the four GOs. The bench announced that the decision of the state government was arbitrary, illegal and conflicting with the provisions of the AP Reorganization Act 2014.
The bench of two judges having of Acting Chief Justice Dilip B Bhosale and Justice A V Sesha Sai, ruled that the two PIL filed by Dr. D Manohar Rao, Retired Professor, Osmania University that challenges the several amendments that were passed by the Telangana government that allows them to appoint people of its choosing as Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors of the universities in the state.
The bench stated in its ruling that the state government’s power of appointing Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors with a lack of any instructions that abide by the qualifications and eligibility as specified per the rules is illegal and unconstitutional.
The court also added that the state government does not have the authority to alter the Rules of Universities Grants Commission (UGC) as it is a central body. The eligibility criteria to be appointed as a Vice- Chancellor was declared to be 10 years of academic experience by the UGC that was reduced to five years by the state government. The government also altered the rules and said that people with administrative experience can also be appointed as VCs.
The bench also said that if the appointed as Vice-Chancellor fall in line with rules set by the UGC then they can take up the office.