The crucial annual meeting of the Aligarh Muslim University court for electing the varsity’s next chancellor, pro-chancellor and honorary treasurer, scheduled for March 28 has been postponed, according to a varsity notification.
An influential section of the AMU court and the AMU Teachers Association had opposed the timing of the meeting on the ground that “senior varsity officials including vice - chancellor P. K. Abdul Azis, who are facing inquiry for alleged financial irregularities, were trying to manage the election to safeguard their personal interests“.
The AMU administration had earlier indicated that they would favour a third term as chancellor for the present incumbent former Chief Justice of India A. M. Ahmadi.
On why the meeting was postponed, AMU official spokesman Rahat Abrar said there was nothing unusual about this postponement.
Meanwhile, official sources said the sudden postponement has come after a number of Members of Parliament, who are also on the AMU court, pressed HRD Minister Kapil Sibal to postpone the election “till the ongoing inquiry against the AMU vice chancellor is over“.
The MPs are reportedly of the opinion that a free “election at AMU would be possible only after the ongoing inquiry is completed”.
Former Rajya Sabha MP Waseem Ahmad, a dissident member of the AMU court, welcomed Sibal’s initiative to postpone the meeting.
Mr. Ahmad, who has been pressing for an indepth inquiry into allegations of financial misconduct by senior varsity officials since the past two years told PTI, “holding the crucial meeting of the AMU court at this juncture was a ploy to scuttle the ongoing inquiry but the HRD Minister’s move has thwarted such designs.”
President of University Teachers Association Mukhtar Ahmad lauded the postponement of the election and expressed concern over the delay in conducting the probe.
The time—bound inquiry was to be completed by April 4 but so far proceedings “have not even begun”, he said.
Mr. Mukhtar said the ongoing inquiry could only be free and fair if senior officials facing the inquiry are asked to proceed on leave.