The Bombay High Court today dismissed a public interest litigation challenging the appointments of the vice-chancellors of Mumbai University and Shivaji University in Kolhapur after finding no merit in it.
“We find no merit in the contentions raised in the petition and hence it deserves to be dismissed,” a division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice A K Menon said.
The PIL, filed by activist Suresh Patilkhede, claimed that the appointments of the vice-chancellors which had been made under the Maharashtra Universities Act was erroneous and should have been made according to the regulations of the University Grants Commission (UGC).
Senior counsel Ashutosh Kumbakoni, appearing for the government, argued that the regulations of UGC submitted in 2011 were not binding on the government.
“On February 15, 2011, the government passed an order stating that the UGC regulations are just recommendations and are not mandatory. The government decided not to adopt the recommendations, including point 7.3 of the UGC regulations which pertains to the appointment of vice-chancellors,” Kumbakoni argued.
He said that the petitioner has not challenged this government order.
Accepting the contentions of the state government, the high court today refused any relief to the petitioner and dismissed the PIL.
The government had on June 21 appointed Sanjay Deshmukh as the new vice-chancellor of Mumbai University. Deshmukh will take over from Dr Rajan Welukar whose term will end on July 6.