Governor back in action; asking former VCs to refund Rs 1.13 crore spent on legal battle against him

Thiruvananthapuram: In a surprise move, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan has asked the former vice-chancellors of Kerala universities to refund the money they spent from the university fund for their legal battle against his order declaring their appointment void ab initio. A total of 11 former VCs moved against the governor in the court after the latter quashed his appointment by upholding the Supreme Court order. According to official records, these VCs had spent Rs 1.13 crore for their legal battle against the Governor.

In the notice issued to the universities on July 9, the Raj Bhavan asked to recover the money illegally spent by the VCs for their personal interest. Manorama News reported that the Raj Bhavan pointed out that the universities had spent money on legal proceedings against the chancellor and the university. As chancellor of the universities, the governor observed that sanctioning funds for these legal expenses is not justifiable and called it a misuse of university funds.

Dr Gopinath Raveendran, former VC of Kannur University, had spent the highest amount of Rs 69 lakh from the university fund for the legal proceedings against the Governor’s order declaring his appointment void ab initio. Dr Riji John, former VC of KUFOS had used Rs 36 lakh from the official fund for the same purpose. Previous VCs Dr MS Rajashree (KTU), MK Jayaraj (University of Calicut), Dr KN Madhusoodanan (CUSAT), Dr V Anil Kumar (Malayalam University) and Dr Mubarak Pasha (Sree Narayana Open University) had spent Rs 1.5 lakh, 4.25 Rs. lakh, Rs 77,500, Rs 1 lakh and Rs 53,000 respectively.

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