KU VC appears in-person before HC bench in contempt case

Date:

 KD NEWS SERVICESRINAGAR, Mar 15: Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kashmir (KU) Professor Neelofer Khan on Friday appeared in-person before a division bench of the High Court which is hearing a contempt petition against the top Varsity officers. Petitioner Zahoor Hussain has moved the court seeking regularisation of his services as Junior Professional Assistant (JPA) in the Kashmir University, along with other service and financial benefits, retrospectively. The petitioner had accused the KU authorities of flouting the previous Court orders which directed for his regularisation retrospectively, leading to the contempt petition which was Friday heard by the division bench of Justice Atul Sreedharan and Justice Moksha Kazmi Khajuria. Notably, this is for the first time in Kashmir University’s history that a Vice-Chancellor had to appear before the Court in-person, raising questions about the functioning of the University’s Legal Cell which has now come under sharp criticism for “causing dent to the image and reputation of the VC’s chair.” Two days ago, the High Court had sought personal appearance of all respondents (including VC KU, Registrar KU and In-Charge Officer Legal Cell, KU). However the Varsity pleaded that the VC and Registrar were “out of station” following which the Court directed their personal appearance on March 15 in the Srinagar High Court at 11am. Senior academicians, meanwhile, slammed the Legal Cell of KU for alleged lackadaisical approach in handling of cases. “How did this particular case reach the point of contempt petition which led to VC’s personal appearance is a big question which needs thorough investigation,” said a senior KU academician, who wished anonymity. He said it is neither good for the institution’s image nor the dignity of VC’s chair that court cases are allowed to reach the stage of contempt petitions. Meanwhile, after today’s appearance of KU authorities before the division bench, the HC listed the matter for further hearing on April 1, after submissions and assurances made by the KU VC on implementation of court directions—(KNO)

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