Governor back in action; asks former VCs to return Rs 1.13 cr spent on legal fight against him

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Thiruvananthapuram: In a surprising move, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan has asked the former Vice Chancellors of universities in Kerala to return the money they spent from the university fund for their legal fight against his order declaring their appointment ab initio void. A total of 11 former VCs moved against the governor in the court after the latter nullified their appointment by upholding the Supreme Court order. As per official records, these VCs had spent Rs 1.13 crore for their legal fight against the governor.

In the notice issued to the universities on July 9, the Raj Bhavan asked to recover the money illegally spent by the VCs for their personal interest. Manorama News reported that the Raj Bhavan pointed out that the universities had spent money on legal proceedings against the chancellor and the university. Being the chancellor of the universities, the governor observed that sanctioning funds towards these legal expenses is not justifiable and termed it a misuse of university funds.

Dr Gopinath Raveendran, former VC of Kannur University had spent the highest amount of Rs 69 lakh from the university fund for the legal proceedings against the governor’s order that declared his appointment ab initio void. Dr Riji John, former VC of KUFOS had utilized Rs 36 lakh from the official fund for the same purpose.  Former VCs Dr MS Rajashree (KTU), M K Jayaraj (University of Calicut), Dr K N Madhusoodanan (CUSAT), Dr V Anil Kumar (Malayalam University) and Dr Mubarak Pasha (Sree Narayana Open University) had spent Rs 1.5 lakh, Rs 4.25 lakh, Rs 77,500, Rs 1 lakh and Rs 53,000 respectively.

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