Allahabad HC Stays Order Directing Enquiry Against Former Vice Chancellor Of AKTU
The Allahabad High Court has stayed the proposed enquiry instituted by former Vice Chancellor of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University against erstwhile Vice Chancellor Vinay Pathak.
“Until further orders, the enquiry as proposed in the order dated 01.02.2023 shall remain stayed.”, Justice Pankaj Bhatia ordered.
This comes after the petitioner-Vinay Kumar Pathak had approached the High Court against the Order directing constitution of an Enquiry Committee and against the proposed enquiry against him.
Senior Advocate LP Mishra appeared for the petitioner whereas Senior Advocate Asit Kumar Chaturvedi appeared for the Respondents.
The counsel for the petitioner submitted that under the provisions of University Grants Commission Act, no power is conferred upon the Commission to direct an enquiry in respect of matters other than the matters specified in Section 12 of the University Grants Commission Act. He pointed out that the fact finding enquiry has been setup against the petitioner who was earlier the Vice Chancellor of the University in question. He further argued that the UGC did not authorize the respondent University to carry out either a fact finding enquiry or an enquiry of any nature, whereas, the respondents had erred in constituting an Enquiry Committee.
He contended that even in terms of the mandate of U.P. State Universities Act, 1973 no power is conferred on a Vice Chancellor to conduct an enquiry that too against the erstwhile Vice Chancellor. In support of the said statement, the counsel for the petitioner relied on the powers and duties of the Vice Chancellor as clarified under Section 13 of the 1973, Act.
On the other hand, the counsel for the respondents argued that it is only a fact finding enquiry and nothing more and the same cannot be equated with an enquiry as is being argued by the counsel for the petitioner.
The Court noted that “In the present case, prima-facie neither from the communication dated 21.11.2022 of the U.G.C. were the respondents authorized to institute an Enquiry Committee nor are they authorized by virtue of provisions of Section 13 of 1973, Act or under any other statutory and non statutory provision to constitute and hold an enquiry of the nature which has been directed in the order dated 01.02.2023.”
Thus, the Court observed that the matter required consideration and accordingly stayed the Order while directing the parties to file their replies.
Cause Title- Vinay Kumar Pathak v. State of U.P. & Ors.