Amid news reports of the LDF government approving a Bill which would purportedly dilute powers of the Chancellor, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Tuesday said that as long as he has the powers, he would not allow violation of any law or norm.
Speaking to reporters here, Khan said he was ”absolutely concerned” about the state of affairs in the higher education sector in the State as there were allegedly ”very serious irregularities on the face of it” at Kannur University.
”There are very serious irregularities on the face of it. Prima facie very serious irregularities. Very serious favouritism also. There are a series of things. It appears as if in Kannur University violating the laws, violating the norms, violating decency, have become the rule,” he claimed.
He further claimed that it was probably to hide these things from him that he was being kept in the dark, when opinions of everyone from the Advocate General to the University Grants Commission (UGC) and even from the State Higher Education Ministry were being sought.
”You are talking of Kannur University. I am surprised to see that right from the Advocate General to the UGC to the ministry, everyone’s opinion is being sought, but the Chancellor is being kept in the dark. Why am I being kept in the dark? I have the institutions. Why? Why? There must be some reason? It is probably because they wanted to hide these things (alleged irregularities) from me,” the Governor said.
On the approving of the Bill, Khan said whatever they (government) are going to do, he was not going to join issue with them.
”But as long as the powers are with me, I will not allow any violation of the law or the norms,” he said.
”Anything proposed becomes a law only after the signature of the Governor,” he added.
The State Cabinet’s reported decision to approve the Bill, which purportedly dilutes powers of the Chancellor, comes in the wake of several ordinances of the LDF government getting lapsed for want of the Governor’s approval.
Among the ordinances that expired on August 8, the Kerala Lokayukta (Amendment) Ordinance was one which says the Governor, Chief Minister or the State government would be the competent authority and he or it may either accept or reject the declaration by the Lokayukta, after giving an opportunity of being heard.