‘Decision following pressure from UDF Syndicate members'

The Palayam campus of the University of Kerala on Thursday witnessed unruly scenes following the issue of transfer orders to a Section Officer in the university's ‘establishment' section.

On Thursday afternoon the Joint Registrar holding charge of the Registrar issued orders transferring P.P. Thomas, Section Officer (SO) in the establishment section, to the credit-and-semester examination section.

Soon afterwards activists of the Leftist Kerala University Employees' Union took out a protest march alleging that the transfer was done by the Vice-Chancellor under pressure from the United Democratic Front Syndicate members. With activists of the Congress-affiliated Staff Union also gathering in strength, the stage looked set for a clash. A short while later a large posse of police personnel was deployed at the entrance to the Senate building.

RTI

Vice-Chancellor A. Jayakrishnan, however, told The Hindu that Mr. Thomas was transferred as the Chief Information Commissioner had in February passed orders slapping a fine of Rs.10,000 each on Mr. Thomas and a Joint Registrar for providing wrong information to a Right to Information Act query given by a retired university employee.

“The Chief Information Commissioner in his order said the information provided by Mr. Thomas was incorrect, incomplete and misleading. Now there is an appeal against that order in the High Court and this is the very section that should prepare the statement of facts for that case. How can Mr. Thomas be the SO there? I was only acting within my statutory powers,” Dr. Jayakrishnan said.

A member of the Congress-affiliated Staff Union has been posted as SO in the establishment section in place of Mr. Thomas.

‘A custom'

UDF Syndicate member Jyothikumar told The Hindu that the RTI-query issue was one of the reasons why Mr. Thomas was transferred. “It is a custom in the university that whenever there is a change in government and in the formation that has the majority in the Syndicate, there are changes in the personnel in the administration (establishment) section. When the Left controlled the Syndicate they saw to it that their man was in the right seat,” he pointed out.

General secretary of the Employees Union K. Mohanakumar told The Hindu that this kind of transfers was being done so that the Syndicate can “do a Calicut University on Kerala University.” The Vice-Chancellor was blackmailed by two UDF Syndicate members into issuing Thursday's transfer order, he accused.