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Kerala Cabinet approves draft Bill to remove Governor as chancellor of universities

The Kerala Legislative Assembly could easily pass the Bill to remove the Governor as the chancellor of the universities. But Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, himself needs to give his assent to make it a law.

Statesman News Service | Thiruvananthapuram |

Amid growing differences with Governor Arif Mohammed Khan,  over the functioning of the universities, the state cabinet on Wednesday decided to move a Bill in the Assembly to remove him as the Chancellor of the universities.

Being approved by the cabinet, the Bill proposed to replace the Governor with eminent academicians as Chancellors of the various universities. The Bill will be introduced in the Assembly session to be started on 5 December.

Earlier, the government had decided to bring in an Ordinance to remove the Goveror from the Chancellorship of the universities and the cabinet has approved the Ordinance. However, before the Governor took a decision on it, the government recommended  to hold the next Assembly session. Following this, Governor Khan sent the in fructuous ordinance back without signing it.

Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, has been firm in his stand that he would not sign the ordinance as it dealt with curtailing his power as chancellor. He had maintained that the Chancellor post was not a favour bestowed by the state government, but was a consensus at the national level.

But in the event of the passing of the Bill in the Assembly to remove the Governor as chancellor of the universities, his signature would be required to make it a law. Then, the question will be–whether the Governor will give his assent to the Bill?

Governor Khan, has earlier said the state  government did not have the power to remove him as the chancellor of the universities in the state.

According to Khan,  the Governors hold the office of Chancellor on the basis of a national consensus arrived at the national level in the early 1950s and a report from a National Commission, and no state government can go against it.

He maintained that the Governors used to hold the office of the Chancellor even before the formation of the Kerala state and it is not a favour done by the state government.