With Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan making it clear that he is no longer the Chancellor, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan appears to be in a Catch-22 situation as on January 12 the Kerala High Court is to hear a petition questioning the reappointment of Kannur University Vice Chancellor Gopinath Ravindran.
A division bench of the high court earlier this month issued notices to Khan as he is the Chancellor, the State government and the Kannur University.
But Khan told the media that the notice has been forwarded to the Kerala government as from December 8 he is no longer the Chancellor as he has relinquished that post.
Khan has already said the Chancellor’s post is not a Constitutional appointment, instead it’s through a Bill passed in the Kerala Legislative Assembly that the Governor is made the Chancellor.
Khan has been peeved the way the Vijayan government in general and the State Higher Education Minister R.Bindhu went about the reappointment of Gopinath Ravindran.
Even though Khan had put his signature to the reappointment, he was deeply peeved the way Bindhu wrote two letters to the Governor to do the reappointment. And unable to stand this, he decided to relinquish the post of chancellor, which he did from December 8.
A source in the know of things said the ball is now in the court of Vijayan and he has two options.
“Either he can take over the post of chancellor or he can patch up with Khan and knowing Vijayan well, the second option is a distant possibility. Whatever happens has to happen on or before January 12th when the petition will be heard in the high court, as both the Congress and the BJP are breathing down the neck of Vijayan,” said the source.
Vijayan got a jolt when the division bench decided to accept the petition against the reappointment after the petitioners got a raw deal from the single bench, which had dismissed their petition.