The Supreme Court questioned the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on Tuesday, 29 November 2016 over the convention developed by the University to appoint any “eminent person” as its Vice-Chancellor.
The Apex Court while criticising the University on its move asked if it could also appoint a singer, a musician or a sportsperson as the Vice Chancellors of the University.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India T S Thakur asked the University's counsel if anybody, unconnected with academics, be appointed as the Vice-Chancellor or not. It also asked about the criteria, qualification, eligibility, search committee and those who propose the appointment.
Senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, defending the practice said that the university, in its wisdom, appoints eminent persons for the top post. Ramachandran also referred to Vice President Hamid Ansari, a career diplomat, who was appointed the Vice Chancellor of the university from 2000 to 2002 as he is an eminent person in the field of education.
On this, the bench sought clarity on the fact if that meant even a sportsman, a singer, a musician could be appointed as the vice-chancellor of the University .
Prashant Bhushan, the lawyer for the petitioner had challenged the practice to select the V-C and termed it as an arbitrary practice. The hearing had to be deferred to 6 December as Prashant Bhushan was unavailable to argue because of a surgery.
The 2010 regulations by the UGC mentions minimum qualifications for appointment of academic staff and teachers. The UGC in its clarification to the bench said that its regulations if notified in the gazette become statutorily mandatory to follow for all central universities.