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VC cannot veto minority college's disciplinary action: Kerala HC

By Mahir Haneef | TNN

KOCHI: The student-grievance body of Mahatma Gandhi University chaired by the vice chancellor cannot veto the disciplinary action taken against a student by the principal of an aided minority college as per rules and by ensuring natural justice, said the Kerala High Court.

Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan V gave the ruling after considering a petition (WP-C No. 2345/2013) filed by managers and principals of aided minority colleges run by the Christian community through advocate Baby Issac Illickal.

The court held that the rule allowing the student-grievance body, which is headed by the vice chancellor, to veto the disciplinary action taken by the principal should be read down to mean that the body, named Board of Adjudication of Students Grievances (BASG), can refuse approval only in cases where it is found that the disciplinary action is contrary to the procedure prescribed under the rules. If the action is taken in consonance with the procedure prescribed as per the rules, BASG shall be bound to grant approval, the court held.

BASG was given the power to set aside, modify or cancel the principal’s order for disciplinary action as per Rule 9 of the Mahatma Gandhi University Student Code of Conduct Rules, 2005.

In the judgment, the court also said it would be open to the university to bring out an ordinance to regulate the residence and discipline of the students. The court also held that action taken by the BASG till date shall not be affected by the court’s declaration reading down Rule 9.

BASG is chaired by the vice chancellor of the university and the board members include the dean of students, three members of which one is a syndicate member and a principal nominated by the vice chancellor, the chairman of the university union, two chairman of the college union who are nominated by the vice chancellor, two members of which one should be a member of the academic council who is nominated by the vice chancellor, and the registrar of the university.

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