The Supreme Court on Tuesday took exception to the submission of Aligarh Muslim University that an eminent person can be appointed its vice-chancellor, saying did it mean that "a singer, a sportsman or a musician" can also selected for the coveted assignment. However, the metter is adjourned till December 6 for hearimg as sought by the counsel for a party in the case.
"Can anybody, unconnected with acedemics, be also appointed? What is the criteria? There is no qualification, no eligibility criteria, no search committee... who proposes the appointment? Can anyone become the VC," the bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and justices D Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao said.
The bench took strong note of the submisison of senior advocate Raju Ramachandran that an eminent person can be shortlisted and appointed as the VC.
Buttressing his argument, Ramachandran also referred to Vice President Hamid Ansari, a career diplomat, and said that being an eminent person, he was appointed the VC of the university during 2000-02.
"Distinguished civil servants, army generals, diplomats have held this post at the central university under the criteria of eminent person," he said.
Does it mean "a singer, a sportsman, a musician," can be selected as the vice-chancellor, the bench asked.
The university said there has been tradition to appoint eminent persons to the post. The bench then adjourned the hearing to December 6 as sought by the counsel for a party in the case.
Earlier, the Centre had said it did not take a "rigid" stand in appointment and had already forwarded three short-listed names to the President for approval as the varsity has kept the UGC regulations on the issue at abeyance.
The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) had said that three names were forwarded to the President under the relevant provisions of the Aligarh Muslim University Act.
The President appointed one of the short-listed persons as the VC, the ministry said, adding the varsity is yet to adopt the regulations of the University Grants Commission (UGC).