The Delhi High Court has rejected a plea challenging the appointment of Najma Akhtar as the vice chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI).
A bench of Justices Rajiv Shakdher and Talwant Singh dismissed the appeal, which challenged the decision to appoint Akhtar, made by a single judge on March 5, 2021.
The petitioner, M Ethesham-Ul-Haque, an alumnus of JMI’s Faculty of Law, claimed that the appointment violated regulations issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the JMI Act.
The division bench had previously issued notices to the Centre, Central Vigilance Commission, JMI, UGC, and Akhtar on the petition. Advocates Mobashshir Sarwar and M J Shaikh, representing the petitioner, argued that the appointment process was a misuse of power and a violation of statutory provisions.
They claimed that the search committee, responsible for assessing the suitability and eligibility of candidates, had delegated critical aspects and failed to consider the vigilance clearance of the candidate.
In the earlier order, the single judge stated that the petitioner failed to demonstrate any violation of UGC regulations or the JMI Act in Akhtar’s appointment.
The judge emphasised that the court cannot intervene in the decision made by the search committee. The single judge dismissed the petition, stating that Akhtar’s appointment was justified.
The petitioner alleged that the search committee was illegally constituted and that Akhtar initially did not receive clearance from the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). However, the petition claimed that the denial of clearance was later reversed after intervention from the Ministry of Education. (With inputs from PTI)