The decision of the Syndicate of the University of Kerala on November 3 to re-notify the posts of publication officers in English, Hindi, Sanskrit and Malayalam by clubbing them and making application reservation norms goes counter to the legal advice of the varsity’s standing counsel and also against the law of the land as defined by the Supreme Court.

This was stated here on Friday by Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kerala A. Jayakrishnan. He was addressing a press conference convened to explain the varsity’s stand regarding recent allegations that reservation norms were not being followed in appointments to teaching posts.

Since 1999, the varsity had received legal advice that a single vacancy against a single sanctioned post should be treated as an ‘open’ post and that reservation norms cannot be applied to the same. When in 1999, the then deputy librarian, N. Parameswaran, moved the court against the university for notifying the post of University Librarian in the reserved category, the varsity’s legal counsel, citing a Supreme Court pronouncement, took the stand that such a post could not be put under reservation norms.

In 2006, the Kerala High Court, in response to a case filed by K.S. Chandrasekhar against the decision of the varsity to notify the post of professor in the IMK in the reserved category, ruled that the post was a single cadre post and that it shall not be reserved for any community, Dr. Jayakrishnan said.

When the question of notifying posts of professor, reader and lecturer in the varsity came up recently, the standing counsel advised the University that such posts, being single posts, cannot be placed in the reserved category. This matter was reported to the Syndicate on September 27 and it unanimously accepted the report. The minutes of this meeting were confirmed by the Syndicate at its meeting on November 3.

Asked whether the university would consider amending its statutes according to the court pronouncements on ‘single posts’, Dr. Jayakrishnan replied that when the Supreme Court gives a ruling, it becomes the law of the land and overrides any statute that the varsity may have. The university complies fully with all reservation norms and if any shortcoming is pointed out, it shall be rectified, Dr. Jayakrishnan added.