Bengal Raj Bhavan-State Secretariat row heading to court?
The Governor House-State Secretariat tiff in West Bengal is now probably heading for a legal encounter as the state education department is consulting its legal brains on how to counter the recent show-cause notice issued by the Governor's office to vice-chancellors of six state universities.
Kolkata, May 27,2023: The Governor House-State Secretariat tiff in West Bengal is now probably heading for a legal encounter as the state education department is consulting its legal brains on how to counter the recent show-cause notice issued by the Governor’s office to vice-chancellors of six state universities.
According to the state education minister Bratya Basu, although the government is keen to have a dialogue with the governor, the latter seems to be keen to take decisions on his own. “As regards the show-cause notices to the vice-chancellors, we will have to see whether he has the authority to issue such notices. We are consulting the legal brains to know first whether such notices are legal or illegal,” he said.
On May 24, the Governor House issued a notice to vice chancellors of six state universities, namely Kazi Nazrul University, Sidho-Kanho-Birsha University, Bidhan Chandra Agricultural University, West Bengal State University, Kalyani University, and The University of Burdwan, for ‘ignoring’ the Governor’s instruction to submit weekly reports on university affairs to the Raj Bhavan.
Earlier on April 4, the Governor’s House had instructed the V-Cs of all state universities to submit a weekly report to the Raj Bhavan, wherein the V-Cs were also asked to take prior concurrence from the Raj Bhavan in all finance-related matters.
However, taking note of the reluctance on the part of the state universities to submit the weekly report, a reminder was sent to the V-Cs on May 22 by the office of the special secretary to the Governor.
After failing to get any response, the Governor’s House has now issued show-cause notice to the VCs of the six state universities.
The Governor, by virtue of his chair, is the chancellor of the state universities. The state government had been opposing the Governor’s decision to seek weekly reports since the beginning. Now with the state government mulling legal options against show- cause notices it seems to have made the Raj Bhavan- State Secretariat relationship murkier.