Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Friday gave its go-ahead for the appointment of Vice Chancellor (VC) for the Pune University. A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Nitin Jamdar dismissed a public interest litigation filed by social activist, Suresh Patilkhede, challenging the validity of the Maharashtra Universities (Amendment) Ordinance, 2009, which amended certain provisions of the Maharashtra Universities Act, 1994.

The Governor, who is the Chancellor of all the Universities in the state, can now finalise the VC from the candidates shortlisted by the search committee.

The amendment ordinance provides for nomination of the search committee for recommending a select panel, apart from prescribing minimum qualifications for appointment of a VC. A short listed candidate is ultimately appointed to the post.

The PIL contended that the entire process including nomination of the search committee was in breach of provisions of the Universities Grant Commission (UGC) and its rules.

The government argued that the conflict between newly added provisions of the Maharashtra Universities Act and that of the UGC Act were minor and did not warrant a court order declaring the state statute illegal. Also, the UGC itself had not raised any objection to the amendment.

The court accepted the government's arguments and dismissed the PIL. On request from petitioner's counsel, the High Court has stayed the order to allow them to approach the Supreme Court.


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