HC appoints administrator for Manipur University

The varsity campus has been tense since May this year due to agitation by teachers and students against vice-chancellor Adya Prasad Pandey, accused of corruption.

Manipur high court on Thursday appointed retired IAS officer Jarnail Singh as a neutral administrator of the crisis-hit Manipur University. The varsity campus has been tense since May this year due to agitation by teachers and students against vice-chancellor Adya Prasad Pandey, accused of corruption.

The court also suspended pro vice-chancellor Yugindro Singh and registrar Shyamkasho Singh, who were appointed by Pandey after he was suspended by President of India, the visitor of the central university. Pandey was suspended till an inquiry into the charges by a committee constituted by union human resource development ministry was over.

The court asked Singh to take charge of the university immediately and initiate steps to resolve the issues that have affected academic environment in the university. A bench of Justices Kotiswar Singh and Kh Nobin Singh issued the order after hearing a PIL filed by Chongtham Nimai, a retired lecturer, who sought the court’s intervention to bring normalcy in the reputed university.

Manipur police had to use tear gas shells and lathic harge agitating students on Wednesday, who were demanding release of a group of students arrested last month during a raid on their hostels. Students had set fire to the sports centre and locked the university’s gates, while the teachers went on a strike demanding the removal of Pandey for alleged corruption. This has affected classes in the university and the students refused to appear in their semester examinations.

Jarnail Singh, a former chief secretary of Manipur, had also served as joint secretary in the Prime Minister’s office and received the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration for the year 2007-08.

“Singh is also fully empowered to pass any such order(s) and/or to review and revoke any such order(s) and to do such act(s)as he may deem fit for bringing normalcy to the university and defuse the volatile situation by engaging in constant dialogue and interactions with all the stakeholders, so long as it is not contrary to any order of the court. He may also seek the assistance of the state government and union respondent/central government in this regard,” said the court in its order.

The court said anyone found obstructing smooth functioning of the administrator would face contempt of court charge.

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HC appoints administrator for Manipur University

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