Four years after Dr Babu Sebastian was appointed Mahatma Gandhi University’s Vice-Chancellor, the Kerala High Court on Monday cancelled the appointment on grounds of inadequate qualifications, and formation of a search committee against rules to find a suitable candidate for the post.
The High Court order came on a plea of T.R. Premkumar, who pointed to a violation of norms and rules in the appointment of Sebastian as head of the Kottayam-based varsity.
The petitioner said two other candidates had all prescribed University Grants Commission (UGC) qualifications and Sebastian did not, still he was selected to the top post.
The petitioner also said that a search committee constituted to select the new V-C in 2014 was in violation of the UGC norms.
“The UGC guidelines are very clear that no one from either the varsity Senate or Syndicate should be included in the search committee. But the then Congress legislator, who was a member of these bodies, was made a member of the search committee. I am very happy that what I pointed out has been vindicated,” Premkumar said after the verdict.
Sebastian’s links with a top politician in the then Congress-led United Democratic Front government was known to all and his selection was looked upon as a foregone conclusion.
Sebastian told the media after the High Court verdict that he did not have a copy of the judgment. “I will seek legal advice on what needs to be done. The order comes when I have only six more months to complete my term,” he said.