President gives nod to sack Viswa Bharati Vice Chancellor
President Pranab Mukherjee has approved the dismissal of Viswa Bharati Vice Chancellor Sushanta Duttagupta, the first instance of sacking of the VC of a Central University, HRD ministry officials said. Charges against Duttagupta included drawing salary from Visva Bharati and pension from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) simultaneously in alleged violation of the law. Under the law, he was required to have got his pension amount deducted from the pay he received from Visva Bharati.
Besides this, Duttagupta was 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. Dattagupta, who was appointed in 2011, had over six months of his tenure left.
Earlier this month, the Human Resource Development ministry had sent the file to the President recommending dismissal of Dattagupta, who was facing allegations of financial and administrative irregularities, after the Law Ministry and the Attorney General approved the procedures followed by it in the matter. The President's office had earlier raised certain queries after which the ministry had sought the opinion of the Law Ministry. Mukherjee had twice earlier returned the file relating to Duttagupta to the HRD Ministry, the latest in November last year, asking whether denying the VC a "hearing in person" on allegations levelled against him was legally tenable, triggering speculation that both were not on the same page on the matter. However, after the Law ministry backed the HRD's view, the file was again sent to the President paving the way for the VC's dismissal.
The teachers of Viswa Bharti refused to comment on the issue.
They said they were keeping a tab on the situation. However, they admitted that administrative work and academic work in the university had been badly affected due to the stalemate.