The extension of the term of B.R. Ananthan as Vice-Chancellor of Rani Channamma University (RCU) here for a year has been contested by Kannada activist and journalist Raghavendra Joshi.

Mr. Joshi said the extension by Governor and Chancellor of Universities H.R. Bharadwaj was illegal and contrary to the opinion of M.R. Hegde, Legal Advisor to the Governor.

Mr. Ananthan, a retired professor, was appointed by the State government as the first Vice-Chancellor of RCU under Section 14 of the Karnataka State Universities Act, 2010, for four years or till he attained 65 years age, whichever earlier. Subsequently, the government amended the Act to enhance the upper age limit from 65 to 67 years. Mr. Ananthan attained 65 years on May 2, 2013.

The Governor exercising powers conferred by sub-section (10) of Section 14 of KSU, Act 2000, granted an extension on July 29 and determined the term of office of Mr. Ananthan as four years with effect from 16-08-2010 or till he attained 67 years of age, whichever was earlier.

Mr. Hegde pointed out it was incorrect to say that Mr. Ananthan’s terms would have to be determined afresh, since the State government had already specified the terms at the time of his appointment. Since Mr. Ananthan was not appointed by the Chancellor, there was no scope for invoking sub-section (10) of Section 14. If his appointment was made in the regular course by the Chancellor, the benefit of the amendment would have accrued to him also.

When contacted, Mr. Ananthan said though he was appointed by the State government, the Chancellor’s decision would prevail. He added the amendment was applicable to everyone in service and was made before he attained 65 years. Mr. Ananthan declined to comment on the strained relationship between him and Mr. Joshi.

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