Kerala Government Decides To Introduce Bill To Replace Governor As Chancellor Of Universities

The Kerala government on Wednesday decided to move a Bill in the legislative assembly, when it convenes from December 5, for replacing the Governor with eminent academicians as Chancellor of the universities in the state.

A draft Bill in this regard was approved by a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan here during the day, a government source confirmed.

The cabinet decision comes in the wake of the ongoing tussle between the Left government and Governor Arif Mohammed Khan over various issues pertaining to the functioning of universities in the state and including the appointment of Vice Chancellors (VCs).

However, some recent Kerala High Court orders have vindicated Khan’s stand on the appointments of VCs of certain universities.

Earlier today, the Kerala High Court declined to entertain a plea seeking a declaration that a Governor has no power to indefinitely withhold bills passed by the state assembly.

A bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly dismissed the PIL, according to information available on the high court website, which had also sought directions to the Centre to amend the Constitution to prescribe a time limit within which the Indian President or Governors have to take a decision on the bills placed before them for assent.

The PIL, which was filed on Tuesday, had also sought a declaration that Governor Arif Mohammed Khan’s action of withholding six bills – including the Lok Ayukta (Amendment) Bill and University Laws (Amendment) Bill — indefinitely, without exercising any of his discretionary powers provided under Article 200 of the Indian Constitution, was “contumacious, arbitrary, despotic and antithetical to the democratic values”.

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