Panel inquiry sought into ‘bribe for V-C post’ case

It is a serious issue that needs discussion: Syndicate member

April 04, 2021 11:31 pm | Updated 11:31 pm IST - MANGALURU

With pressure mounting on Mangalore University to take the matter of a professor “bribing” a conman to get the post of a vice-chancellor, another Syndicate member, Vivekananda Paniyala, has said that it is a serious issue which needs to be deliberated upon in a special meeting of the Syndicate, which is the highest decision-making body of the university.

He has also sought an inquiry into the case by a committee to be headed by a retired High Court judge.

Professor in Microbiology on the university campus, M. Jayashankar, who is also the Director of the College Development Council of the university, complained to the police last week that he had been cheated of ₹17 lakh by Prasad Attavar who had promised him the post of the vice-chancellor of Raichur University. The police arrested Attavar based on the complaint.

Mr. Paniyala, who is also an advocate, in a letter to Mangalore University Vice-Chancellor P.S. Yadapadithaya, said that Syndicate members are shocked reading about the complaint of Prof. Jayashankar that he had paid ₹17 lakh and given three blank cheques to Attavar.

The case, he said, smacks of malafides and corrupt practice of payment of illegal gratification.

This conduct is unbecoming of a professor of a university. “This is an act of moral turpitude lowering the dignity and reputation of the university itself, of which I am part by being a member of the Syndicate,” he said.

The university, being employer and appointing authority under the Karnataka State Universities Act 2000, should take serious cognisance of this incident and forthwith seek an explanation from Prof. Jayashankar before initiating appropriate disciplinary proceedings.

This is necessary as the issue requires the university to pro-actively act on this issue in larger public interest. The Vice-Chancellor should take cognisance of the matter as he is under an obligation to maintain discipline as stated in Section 15(1) of the Act.

While asking Mr. Yadapadithaya to secure a copy of the complaint, the FIR and explanation from Prof. Jayashankar, Mr. Paniyala said that all these should be placed before the Syndicate for its members to deliberate upon in detail and take an appropriate decision. “Let the Syndicate pass a suitable resolution covering all aspects and accordingly, institute an inquiry by a committee headed by a retired judge of the High Court,” he said.

Another member of the Syndicate K. Ramesh in a letter to the Registrar (administration) of the university last week said that paying money to get a university post is illegal and such acts would demean the institution, the Syndicate as well as the government. The university should seek an explanation from the professor in the matter, he said.

Sources in the university said that though a special meeting of the Syndicate had been called on April 5 to discuss the issue, it has now been postponed to April 9.

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