President Pranab Mukherjee fires Visva Bharati Vice-Chancellor

The move comes after months of uncertainty over the issue.

New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee has approved the dismissal of Visva Bharati Vice-Chancellor Sushanta Dattagupta, in a first instance of sacking of the V-C of a Central University, Union HRD ministry said.

“The President, who is the Visitor of Central Universities, has approved the dismissal of Visva Bharati V-C Dattagupta, as proposed by the ministry,” a spokesperson for the ministry said. The move comes after months of uncertainty over the issue.

The HRD ministry had earlier this month sent the file to the President recommending dismissal of Dattagupta after the Union Law and Justice Ministry and the Attorney General of India approved the procedures followed by it in the matter. Dattagupta was facing allegations of financial and administrative irregularities.

The President’s office, had earlier raised certain queries after which the ministry had sought the opinion of the Law Ministry.

Mukherjee had twice returned the file relating to Dattagupta to the HRD Ministry asking whether denying the V-C a “hearing in person” on allegations levelled aga-inst him was legally tenable, triggering speculation that both were not on the same page. However, after the Law ministry backed the HRD’s view, the file was again sent to the President paving the way for the V-C’s dismissal.

Allegations against Duttagupta included drawing salary from Visva Bharati and pension from JNU simultaneously in alleged violation of the law. As per norms, he was required to have got his pension amount deducted from the pay he received from Visva Bharati.

Duttagupta was also charged with making irregular appointments, including that of the Controller of Examinations, despite having no powers, and sanctioning key posts in violation of the Visva Bharati Act.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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