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Appointment of medical officer: KU VC seeks ‘review’ of Vigilance FIR, writes to CM, Governor

The Vice Chancellor, Kashmir University, Prof Khurshid Iqbal Andrabi has sought review of FIR the Vigilance Organisation has filed in the case of appointment of a medical officer in the varsity.
A top source at the civil secretariat Jammu said that Andrabi has “in a bid to clarify his position” written to Governor NN Vohra, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Education minister and director VO, urging them to have the FIR (4/2018) revisited “in light of some hard facts, which can’t be overlooked.”Andrabi’s communication, accessed by Greater Kashmir through the source, reads that the FIR “implying criminal connivance of the vice chancellor (unnamed) and other officers/officials (unnamed) of the university in the appointment of an allegedly ineligible candidate appears to have selectively brought the entire focus on me in person despite my very limited role restricted to holding the process of selection for the eligible candidates as per the statutory norms.”
“The processes and procedures for appointments in the university, as laid down in the statutes, won’t allow any kind of deviation at any level, let alone the prospect of the possible connivance of as many as four vice chancellors who have handled the issue (appointment of medical officers) over a period of more than two years,” the letter reads.
Giving background of the selection process, Andrabi has written that the process of inviting applications for medical officers began in 2012 vide advertisement notification no. F.10 (Aptt-Gen)RC/KU/12 dated September 11, 2012.
“The FIR, however, focuses on the re-advertisement notice dated 11.12.2014. The said candidate had applied in 2012 and not vide advertisement dated 11.12.2014,” the letter reads.
Andrabi in the letter says that while Prof Talat Ahmad, the then vice chancellor nominated the screening officer, the then interim vice chancellor Prof AM Shah approved her as an in-service candidate and the then in-charge vice chancellor Prof GM Shah from department of Zoology (an applicant this time for the post of KU vice chancellor) ordered re-advertisement of the post due to the expiry of the two-year validity of the advertisement notice dated September 11, 2012.
“Post re-advertisement of the posts, I was ethically constrained to have the process of fresh screening go through the same procedures as laid down by my predecessors in their wisdom. The interview of candidates declared eligible by the said screening officer was held on 4 July 2015 and the candidate in question was selected by a duly-constituted selection committee, whose experts were also nominated and approved by the then vice chancellor Prof Talat Ahmad. Accordingly, the University issued an appointment order in favour of the selectees on 8th July, 2015,” the letter, also sent to the chief secretary BB Vyas, reads.
“As per law, the proceedings of the selection committee were ratified by the University Syndicate, comprising at least 20 members, in its meeting held on 06-09-2015,” the letter reads.
“The facts clearly indicate that there was absolutely no connivance whatsoever on my part during the course of the entire process. I therefore solicit your personal intervention in having the entire matter reviewed on priority in the larger interest of the institutional reputation and credibility. This would not only restore the credibility of the institution as well as the chair of the vice chancellor that has come under question, but also assuage the personal distress and trauma that I have undergone since the filing of the FIR,” the letter reads.
Pertinently, the post of KU vice-chancellor was advertised last month following constitution of the search committee by the university’s chancellor, governor NN Vohra, in September 2017. The search committee, which is meeting the university faculty on March 30 and 31, is headed by Prof DP Agarwal, former chairman of the Union Public Service Commission, while Prof Ehtisham Hasnain, vice-chancellor of Jamia Hamdard University New Delhi and Prof Vijay Gupta, former vice-chancellor of Sharda University are its members.
Andrabi’s three year term ended in October 2017, following which he had filed a petition in the High Court seeking five-year term in accordance with the amendments made in the J&K Universities Act, 1969. The Act was amended to the extent that the word “three” for the term of VC shall be substituted by the word “five”. The High Court however dismissed the petition, saying it cannot be given a retrospective effect. Andrabi is not among applicants for VC’s post this time.

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