NEW DELHI : The Delhi High Court on Thursday dismissed an appeal against its single-judge bench order upholding the appointment of Dr Najma Akhtar as the Vice Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia.
A division bench of Justices Rajiv Shakdher and Talwant Singh pronounced the order, upholding the previous ruling and rejecting the appeal filed by M Ehtesham-ul-Haq, an alumnus of the university.
The appeal lodged by Ehtesham-ul-Haq contested the decision of a single judge who had previously rejected his plea against the appointment of Dr Akhtar. The division bench thoroughly considered the arguments presented by both parties before reaching its decision.
A copy of detailed order is awaited.
Haq claimed that the appointment of Akhtar is entirely illegal, as the search committee responsible for selecting the Vice Chancellor was riddled with illegalities.
The appellant asserted that the entire process leading to Dr Akhtar’s appointment as Vice-Chancellor was a “deceptive exercise of power”.
The process was also alleged to have flagrantly violated the Jamia Millia Islamia Act, 1988, in conjunction with Clause 7.3.0 of the UGC (Minimum Qualifications for Appointment of Teachers and other Academic Staff in Universities and Colleges and Measures for the maintenance of standards in Higher Education) Regulations, 2010, as argued.
However, in a ruling issued on March 5, 2021, the single-judge bench determined that the petitioner had failed to demonstrate any explicit violation of the UGC Regulations or the JMI Act in the appointment process.
The court had then held that the appointment of Akhtar was deemed valid.
“I must highlight the position of law that court cannot sit in appeal over the decision taken by the Search Committee. Rather the scope is limited to judicial review of the decision whereby the court is only concerned with whether the incumbent possessed qualifications for the appointment and the manner in which the appointment came to be made or whether the procedure adopted was fair, just and reasonable,