The Bombay High Court has disapproved of Mumbai University’s (MU) “entirely bureaucratic approach” and quashed the order of the Vice Chancellor (VC) rejecting the Senate poll nomination of a candidate.
A division bench of Justices Gautam Patel and Neela Gokhale, on June 19, quashed the VC’s order while hearing a plea by Sanjay Shete, a member of Bombay Physical Culture Association (BPCA).
Shete had challenged the rejection of his nomination form for the university senate only for want of a physical copy of a National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) certificate. He showed an e-mail by NAAC to the principal of BPCA’s College of Physical Education, Mumbai, which confirmed on March 30 this year, that the institution had been accredited for five years.
Shete appealed against MU's rejection
However, the MU rejected his nomination on June 12. Shete appealed against this before the VC on June 14 and submitted the list of two institutions, approved by NAAC, which showed that BPCA’s College of Physical Education, was second on the list.
Senior advocate Mihir Desai and advocate Ajinkya Udane, appearing for Shete, argued that the college has been accredited for several cycles before. They also submitted that Shete has served on the Senate earlier as well. They said that an actual physical certificate was not sent in by the petitioner.
The respondents, including the MU, argued that the Principal ought to have sent a correspondence to NAAC and obtained the certificate.
HC cannot accept nomination rejection
This did not go down well with the HC. “We fail to appreciate this entirely bureaucratic approach. Nothing stopped the University from directly corresponding with NAAC and obtaining a confirmation. The e-mail that is now shown to us is sufficient, and if the University wants, it is at liberty to cross check with NAAC,” said the judges. It further added: “If the University ultimately finds that NAAC did not accredit the college in question, there is no doubt that the petitioner will forthwith have to resign from his seat on the Senate. Then the University may take whatever steps that it desires. But we do not see how a nomination can be rejected on facts such as these.”
The HC quashed the orders passed by MU and the vice chancellor and allowed Shete to contest elections.