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AAP Govt Vs Governor tussle escalates, Purohit questions Mann’s claims

In a detailed statement, the Governor said when then PAU VC’s term expired 30 June 2021 and Punjab government sought the approval of the Governor of Punjab, who is Chancellor of PAU, on 1 July 2021 for approving the giving of additional charge to IAS officer Anirudh Tewari as PAU VC.

Statesman News Service | Chandigarh |

A day after a defiant Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on justified the recent appointment of Satbir Singh Gosal as the new Vice-Chancellor (VC) of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU)”, the latter on Friday cited rules to question the Aam Aadmi Party government’s stand that approval of the Governor or the CM was not required for the VC’s appointment.

In a detailed statement, the Governor said when then PAU VC’s term expired 30 June 2021 and  Punjab government sought the approval of the Governor of Punjab, who is Chancellor of PAU, on 1 July 2021 for approving the giving of additional charge to IAS officer Anirudh Tewari as PAU VC.

“The orders were issued for his officiating charge and approval of the then Governor of Punjab and Chancellor PAU, Ludhiana,” he said.

Purohit said later the Punjab Government sought the approval of Governor of Punjab and Chancellor PAU for giving additional charge to another IAS officer DK Tiwari till the regular selection of VC was approved by the Governor of Punjab. Accordingly the order was issued to that effect on 14 October 2021, he said.

The state government then again on 28 April 2022 sought the approval of the Governor for the additional charge of VC, PAU to Sarvjit Singh till such the appointment of new VC is selected and appointed. This was duly approved on 2 May 2022, the Governor said.

“Thereafter the appointment of the officiating VC was done with the approval of the Governor of Punjab in his capacity Chancellor of PAU, Ludhiana. How can   say that the approval of the Governor of Punjab is required for giving the appointment of the officiating VC and not the regular appointment,” Purohit said while questioning the state taken by the Mann government in the latter.

He further said as per the sections 13 (XI) of the Haryana Punjab Agriculture Universities Act 1970, the Chancellor will be the honorary chairman of the board and the VC , the working chairman.

“In view of this, the Governor being the chairman of the Board, it was incumbent upon the Punjab government to inform the chairman (Governor) of the entire programme and the meeting of the Board should have been held under his chairmanship especially when the post of VC was vacant. The chief secretary had no power to preside over the meeting of the board,” he added.

Purohit said the PAU VC’s appointment is also against the Supreme Court Judgement and the UGC Act, UGC Regulations.