In a move that may bring long-standing concerns of maladministration back to the fore, former Vice Chancellor (VC) of the National University of Study and Research in Law (NUSRL), Ranchi, Professor BC Nirmal has challenged his 2017 ouster from the University at the Jharkhand High Court..His petition before the High Court alleges impropriety and corruption on the part of current VC and Registrar-in-charge Gautam Chaudhary, as well as faculty members Dr MRS Murthy (also Assistant Registrar in-charge) and Dr K Shyamala (also Director of Research and Training), which allegedly factored into his ouster from NUSRL..Professor Nirmal left the University last year, following a wave of student protests citing chronic maladministration and government apathy. Shortly before the protests, then Vice-Chancellor Nirmal had revealed that the University may be dragged into arbitration over non-payment of dues, primarily owing to the state government’s failure to disburse funds to meet University expenses..A truce was worked out eventually and Director of the Jharkhand Judicial Academy, Gautam Chaudhary took over as the VC in-charge instead of Professor Nirmal. Roughly four months into the new administration, student protestors raised their voices again alleging continuing administrative apathy and little reform..As per the petition before the High Court, however, Nirmal states that it was not the “manufactured” protests that prompted him to leave the University. Rather, the petition hints that Chaudhary, Murthy and Shyamala were complicit in orchestrating his ouster. The petition states that Nirmal had applied for month-long leave commencing on April 12, 2017 (a day after last year’s NUSRL protests were launched), owing to personal reasons. He was to return to office on May 12..However, the petition goes on to recount that upon resuming office, Nirmal noticed that “the entire university curriculum and schedule exposed a high level of lawlessness and indiscipline.” When queries were made about the same, Nirmal says he faced verbal abuse from Chaudhary, Murthy and Shyamala. Nirmal goes on to submit that he came to learn later that his leave application had been used to endorse the appointment of Chaudhary as the VC in-charge..Nirmal has submitted that representations protesting this state of affairs yielded little response. As per the petition, his ouster also ushered in a series of adverse measures including the stalling of his salary, despite there being no departmental proceedings or proven charges against him..While challenging this forced withdrawal, Nirmal has also contended that Chaudhary’s appointment is illegal and contrary to the NUSRL Act, 2010. It has been argued that the Act only provides for an existing professor to assume the role of Acting VC in case there is a need for it..“The Act nowhere mentions any position for “in-charge” as such and the said post is prima facie illegal and without jurisdiction….… the position of “in-charge” does not have any authority or power given by the Act or Law and any action/order/decision made by the said position holder, including issuance of any notification is malafide, illegal, and bad in the eyes of law and demands legal action..…the appointment of director, judicial academy of Jharkhand, as both, in-charge vice-chancellor and in-charge registrar is not in consonance with the Act of the university, section 19(vi) of NUSRL Act, 2010.“.While challenging Chaudhary’s designation as VC in-charge, Nirmal has also pointed out that he lacks the qualification to act as the Registrar of NUSRL..As per the NUSRL Act, the Registrar ought to be a person not below the rank of a professor. Further the Registrar has to be appointed by the Executive Committee, on the recommendation of a Selection Committee. Contrary to this mandate, Chaudhary has himself assumed the powers of the Registrar. Further, Nirmal has also queried how Chaudhary could further designate Murthy as the Assistant Registrar..The petition also refers to another case filed this year, alleging misconduct on the part of Chaudhary, Murthy and Syamala, which is pending before the Jharkhand High Court..He has submitted that Murthy and Shyamala, being husband and wife, have been acting in consort to protect one-another against repercussions of all the illegalities committed by them. Echoing concerns raised by student protestors last year concerning lack of academic qualification, the petition also points out that Murthy had earlier been subject to investigation on allegations that he produced false documents at the time of joining the University..In view of these submissions, Nirmal has prayed that his dues, including salary, house rent and allowances, be paid, and further that he be allowed to resume as the University Vice-Chancellor..Further, given the stance that he was not legally removed from the office of Vice Chancellor, Nirmal has also sought an injunction on the University’s November notification for the recruitment of a new Vice Chancellor for NUSRL. It has been contended that such a decision cannot be taken by Chaudhary in view of his own illegal appointment as the VC in-charge..Earlier this year, Nirmal had also written to the University Chancellor (the Acting Chief Justice at the time) raising his grievance over the non-payment of salary for over a year, while refuting the allegations levelled against him. In his representation, Nirmal had stated that since he has neither been suspended nor removed from office, withholding his salary and allowances is unjustified, illegal and unconstitutional.