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NLU Delhi Professor files plea before Delhi HC challenging process for appointment of Vice-Chancellor

It is the petitioner's case that while not calling him for the interview round, the procedure adopted by the Selection Committee was grossly illegal, arbitrary, and unreasonable.

Aditi Singh

A petition has been filed before the Delhi High Court challenging the process undertaken for the appointment of Vice-Chancellor to National Law University, Delhi (Dr Prasannanshu v. Selection Committee for VC NLUD).

The petitioner, Dr Prasannanshu, had joined NLU Delhi in 2009 as an Associate Professor and was promoted as a Professor in July 2015.

Certain that he fulfilled all conditions of eligibility, the petitioner had applied for the post of Vice-Chancellor of the University.

In his plea, Dr. Prasannanshu states that he had a glorious record and academic profile and fulfilled all the requirements contained in the advertisement calling for applications for the post of Vice-Chancellor.

However, he was not called for the interview round which was conducted in February 2020, without being provided any reason.

Thereafter, he made a representation to the Chancellor of National Law University, Delhi to raise his grievances, but the same was rejected.

Aggrieved by the rejection of his candidature, the petitioner moved the High Court.

It is the petitioner's case that while not calling him for the interview round, the procedure adopted by the Selection Committee was grossly illegal, arbitrary, unreasonable and not germane to the principle of intelligible differentia.

"In the incumbent factual matrix there is no reasonable explanation or objective assigned by the selection committee when it chose to call other candidates and not the petitioner more particularly in view of the fact that the petitioner fulfils the minimum eligibility criteria as provided in the official notification dated 11.10.2019."
Plea filed in Delhi High Court

The petitioner has argued that as per the UGC Act and its Regulations of 2018, a Selection Committee is not empowered to outrightly reject the candidature of a candidate who meets the minimum eligibility without inviting him/her for an interactive/interview meeting.

This apart, the petitioner has also sought a direction to quash the rejection of his candidature by the Chancellor.

When the matter was heard by a Single Judge Bench of Justice Jyoti Singh, NLU Delhi stated that it had a limited role of receiving the applications and was not concerned with the selection process.

The Court, however, opined that NLU Delhi's assistance would be required to deal with the factual aspects and the legal position in the matter.

The matter was adjourned to enable the counsel to seek instructions.

Senior Advocate Rajiv Bansal with Advocate Karan Suneja appeared for the petitioner.

NLU Delhi was represented by Advocates Sanjay Vashishtha and SD Sharma.

The matter will be heard next on September 14.

Read the order:

Dr Prasannanshu vs Selection Committee for VC NLUD- order.pdf
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