Lok Ayukta clears minister R Bindu in Kannur varsity VC re-appointment case


R Bindu

Thiruvananthapuram: In a big relief to the state government, Lok Ayukta on Friday cleared the name of higher education minister R Bindu in the case filed over the re-appointment of the Kannur University vice-chancellor. The minister has not shown any partisan on the matter, the Lok Ayukta ruled.

The minister has not exerted any influence on the Governor for re-appointment. Governor Arif Mohammad Khan had the power to reject the proposal of the minister. The complainant could not prove that the minister chose any illegal route to appoint the VC, the Lok Ayukta ruled while rejecting the petition of Ramesh Chennithala MLA.

Chennithala had accused the minister and said she had bypassed the existing rules to re-appoint Dr Gopinath Ravindran as the VC. He said that the minister cannot recommend the re-appointment of a VC.

After approving the 'proposal' of the minister, Governor openly criticised the government for 'pressurising' him to do so. The clash between the two institutions reached its peak when Governor requested the government to remove him from the post of the Chancellor of the universities. Arif Mohammad Khan, however, soon restarted duty when the heat over the matter cooled down.

Earlier, Kerala High Court too had rejected the plea against the re-appointment of Dr Ravindran.

The Lok Ayukta order comes at a time when the state government intends to remove the former's power to oust ministers from power.

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