Kerala assembly passes bill to remove governor as chancellor

The Kerala assembly on Tuesday passed a bill to remove the governor as chancellor of state’s universities.

K RaveendranUpdated: Tuesday, December 13, 2022, 07:55 PM IST
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PTI

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala assembly on Tuesday passed a bill to remove the governor as chancellor of state’s universities.

The bill will now go for assent to governor Arif Mohammed Khan, who has already indicated that there is no question of his signing the bill into law.

Mr Khan has taken the stand that since he is the affected party due to the bill, it would be inappropriate for him to decide on it and indicated that it would be referred to the President.

A number of opposition-ruled states have passed similar bills, which have since been sent to the President and are pending for a decision. The Kerala bill is expected to meet with the same fate.

The Pinarayi Vijayan government is also exploring the possibility of challenging the governor’s refusal to sign bills passed by the assembly. There are other bills related to the universities also, pending for the governor’s decision.

The bill to remove governor from the chancellorship was earlier referred to the subject committee before it was presented in the assembly.

The opposition suggested that there should be a panel comprising the chief minister, leader of opposition as well as the chief justice of the high court to select the chancellor.

The government then proposed that the Speaker be included instead of the chief justice, which was not acceptable to the opposition. Law minister P Rajeeve, who piloted the bill, said what was important for the chancellor was domain expertise.

But the opposition rejected the offer and boycotted the rest of the session, alleging that the government was seeking to take control of the universities by appointing Marxists. With the passage of the bill, the special session called for the purpose ended.

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