NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY DELHI_VICE CHANCELLOR APPOINTMENT PROCEDURE CHALLENGED
The nitty-gritty of the matter which has led to the filing of the writ petition necessitates from the fact that a notification dated 11.10.2019 was issued by the convener of the selection committee of the National Law University, Delhi inviting nominations for the post of Vice-Chancellor (VC), National Law University, Delhi (NLUD).
It came to the knowledge of the Petitioner that the Selection Committee met on 05.02.2020 and decided to call the applicants for an interaction on 25.02.2020.
Notably, the Petitioner had neither received any communication to be present in this interaction meeting nor did he get any letter/communication highlighting any grounds or reasons for rejection of his candidature (if the selection committee believed that the petitioner did not fulfil the minimum eligibility criteria).
That the Petitioner was not called, despite fulfilling the minimum eligibility criteria, by the Selection committee whereby other candidates were duly called for the said post and hence the petitioner was not treated at par with the other candidates. Therefore, the fundamental right of the Petitioner was violated which is enshrined under Article 14, The Constitution of India, 1950.
Article 14 guarantees to every person the right to equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws. The guiding principle of this Article is that all persons and things similarly circumstanced shall be treated alike both in respect of privileges conferred and liabilities imposed. Equality before the law, means that amongst equals should be equal and equally administered and that like should be treated alike.
The petitioner contents that his right to be equally treated by the concerned Committee has not been respected and he has been treated differently and as a necessary corollary he has been discriminated by the selection committee as the principle of intelligible differentia which is a part of Article 14 of the Constitution of India was not duly applied in this case. Hence, the procedure adopted by the Selection Committee is grossly illegal, arbitrary, unreasonable and not germane to the principle of intelligible differentia.
That a representation dated 03.06.2020 was sent to the Hon’ble Chancellor, National Law University, Delhi to look into the matter and thereby providing transparent and fair opportunity to the Petitioner to be called by the selection committee for the post of vice chancellor just like any other candidate who had been invited or called by the selection committee but no response was received by the Petitioner till 22.06.2020.
The Petitioner approached the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi vide W.P.(C) 3661/2020 for challenging the arbitrary and discriminatory process/measures adopted by the Selection committee qua the Petitioner. The Hon’ble Court vide order dated 22.06.2020 directed the registrar of National Law University, Delhi to place the representation of the Petitioner before the Hon’ble Chancellor, National Law University, Delhi which shall be decided by the Hon’ble Chancellor and the decision shall be communicated to the Petitioner within 3 (three) days from the date of decision.
The representation of the Petitioner was decided by the Hon’ble Chancellor vide order dated 25.06.2020 whereby the candidature of the Petitioner has been rejected.
Hence, the petitioner has assailed the order of the Hon’ble Chancellor by the virtue of a civil writ petition.
Renowned and celebrated lawyer Mr. Rajiv Bansal, Senior Advocate along with fabled and proverbial lawyer Mr. Karan Suneja, Advocate appeared on behalf of the Petitioner Dr. Prof. Prasannashu, NLU, Delhi.
The primary grounds of challenge are:
1. Negation of the Constitutional Rights of the Petitioner:
2. Insufficiency of the current procedure for the appointment of the vice chancellor.
3. Reasons assigned by the Hon’ble Chancellor insufficient as selection committee should have adopted the objectivity test, not subjectivity test.
The Hon’ble Court of Justice Jyoti Singh, Delhi High Court issued notice to NLU, Delhi and the next date of hearing in the case is 14.09.2020.