Kerala governor blames CM for reappointment of Kannur University VC

Arif Mohammed Khan accused Pinarayi Vijayan of forcing him to sanction the reappointment of Gopinath Ravindran.

Kerala governor blames CM for reappointment of Kannur University VC

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan (ANI File Photo)

Following the Supreme Court order quashing the reappointment of Gopinath Ravindran as vice-chancellor of the Kannur University, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan accused Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan of forcing him to sanction the reappointment.

Speaking to media persons here, Governor Khan said though he had cautioned that the vice-chancellor’s reappointment was against the norms, the government had conveyed to him that they were acting on the advocate general’s legal opinion.

“I was aware that it was against the law when I signed the reappointment order. The Chief Minister’s Office exerted pressure for the order to be signed,” the Governor said.


He said state Higher Education Minister R Bindu was not to be blamed as the chief minister used her for ensuring Gopinath Ravindran’s reappointment. “The higher education minister was being used as an instrument. It is morally questionable if the chief minister is able to continue on,” the governor said.

He further said he was not demanding the resignation of any individual in the wake of the Supreme Court order.

“The legal advisor of the chief minister and his officer on special duty (OSD) came to my office and told me that I had already promised to accommodate the wishes of the Chief Minister,” the governor said.

Serving a severe blow to the Kerala government, the Supreme Court on Thursday   quashed the reappointment of Dr Gopinath Ravindran as the vice-chancellor of the Kannur University.

A Supreme Court Bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, in a judgment, has set aside a decision of the Kerala High Court which had upheld the validity of a November 23, 2021 notification reappointing Gopinath Ravindran.

The judgment accused the Kerala government of “unwarranted interference” in the reappointment and the resultant abdication/surrender of his statutory powers by the Chancellor/Governor.

The court said that though the November 2021 notification was issued in the chancellor’s name, “the decision stood vitiated by the unwarranted interference by state government”.

Responding to the court order, the higher education Minster denied the LDF government’s interference in the reappointment of Gopinath Ravindran as vice-chancellor, nevertheless it would abide by the Supreme Court’s decision to quash the appointment.

Reacting to the apex court order, Opposition leader VD Satheesan demanded resignation of the Dr R Bindu.  “The higher education minister should resign today itself,” he said.

The minister, who is also the pro-chancellor, violated the UGC norms and the Universities Act and unnecessarily interfered with the autonomy of the universities, he added.