Cancellation of affiliation of engineering college

In what is being seen in the University of Kerala as a legal overreach, Governor H.R. Bharadwaj, who is the Chancellor, has stayed the university's decision to cancel the affiliation of the P. A. Aziz College of Engineering for the academic year 2012-13.

The Chancellor's letter was received by the Vice-Chancellor on Thursday evening. His letter also says a hearing on this matter will be held subsequently.

The Chancellor has said he took the decision on the basis of powers conferred on him by Section VII (sub-section III) of the University Act.

The provision empowers the Chancellor to alter a decision of the university. The question now being asked by top university officials is whether the Chancellor can stay a university decision, that too before a hearing.

The legal opinion on the Chancellor's order, given by university's standing counsel George Poonthottam, is that power under sub-section (3) can only be invoked when an action of the university is in violation of the Acts, Statutes, Ordinances or Regulations.

“When a decision is taken by the Syndicate strictly within the bounds of the law, the Legislature has not conferred a power on the Chancellor to annul the same. It is further provided in the Act that before making any such order, the Chancellor shall call upon such authority to show-cause why such an order should not be made,” Mr. Poonthottam's letter to the Registrar reads. “In spite of the illegality attached to the order, until otherwise challenged and annulled by a court of competent jurisdiction, the said order will remain as effective for its ostensible purpose as the most impeccable of orders,” Mr. Poonthottam adds.

Top university officials fear that staying the cancellation will allow the college to admit students during 2012-13. “After admissions are over, what is the use if the Chancellor decides in favour of the university?,” an official asked, while speaking to The Hindu.