Govt has no power to act against VCs: Acharya

Govt has no power to act against VCs: Acharya

Higher Education Minister V S Acharya on Saturday said the government had no authority to take action against erring vice chancellors. It was up to the chancellor to take action in cases like that of VTU vice chancellor Maheshappa.

Maheshappa is accused of submitting false information to the search committee which shortlisted the names for appointing a vice chancellor to Visvesvaraya Technical University (VTU), Belgaum. Based on the recommendations, the governor in his capacity as the chancellor, had given concurrence for appointing Maheshappa as the vice chancellor.

Maheshappa is alleged to have claimed before the panel that he has a first-class degree in BE while he has actually secured a second class.

When this came to light through the Right to Information Act, the Higher Education Department issued a notice seeking details of his academic records.

The vice chancellor brought a stay from the High Court against the notice on the grounds that the government had no authority to ask for such details under the VTU Act.

Later, some students moved the High Court questioning his appointment. The matter is pending before a division bench. The case is likely to be heard on Monday.

When contacted by Deccan Herald, Acharya said: “I am aware the matter is in the court. The government has no authority to take action. Only the chancellor has to act. On many occasions, we did not approve the decisions taken by Dr Prabhu Dev, Vice Chancellor of Bangalore University. But we can’t do anything. Let alone take action against a vice chancellor, we can’t ask him/her to go on leave. Anyhow, we have amended the VTU Act recently, which empowers a chancellor to take action whenever required.”

Asked whether a police case can be booked against vice chancellors in cheating cases, the minister said, “We have to explore legal options.”

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